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Christian Artist Danny Gokey Sings of Hope at CBU Homecoming

Riverside, Calif. (Nov. 09, 2015) – Stamps Courtyard at California Baptist University was filled with stomping, hand swaying and singing Nov. 7 as Christian artist Danny Gokey promoted the theme of hope and redemption through Jesus Christ.

Gokey, an "American Idol" alumnus, performed at the inaugural "Zest"ival music event as part of Homecoming weekend.

"Zest"ival combined music with Riverside County's rich citrus heritage, featuring the free concert along with lemon and orange flavored ice cream treats. In the true music festival spirit, students and families spread out blankets and set up lawn chairs to enjoy Gokey's performance. 

Gokey gained public attention in season eight of "American Idol," when he auditioned for the show just four weeks after the death of his first wife, Sophia. His talent and story of loss captivated viewers as he advanced to place third in the vocal competition.

Since his "American Idol" days, Gokey has released two albums and a Christmas album is on the way. Now remarried, he is also involved in children's outreach in Nashville and Milwaukee through his foundation Sophia's Heart, which he founded in memory of his late wife.

Gokey shared his testimony of grief and subsequent healing through Christ, telling the crowd at one point, "I believe God wants to do something supernatural, even on this lawn outside."

He performed several songs from his latest album including his lead single, "Hope in Front of Me." The music carried a message of restoration and hope in Jesus Christ and energized the crowd with upbeat tempos and rhythms.

Gokey also led the crowd in worship as students and families sang along to the songs of hope. He reminded the audience members to "take every moment as it comes and live for the now."

"He [came across] very relatable despite his fame," said Morgan Jones, a sophomore and political science major. "He engaged with the people and related to all age groups."