Monday, January 21, 2013



Now he's got a little Idol of his own! American Idol season eight finalist Danny Gokey and his wife Leyicet welcomed their first child, son Daniel Emanuel Gokey, on Sunday, Jan. 20, PEOPLE confirms exclusively.

Weighing in at 8 lbs. 11 oz., Daniel arrived at 9:52 p.m. on his due date. "Leyicet and I are overjoyed to welcome the new member of our family. I'm ecstatic to be a first time dad and to have a new little buddy to hang out with," Gokey tells PEOPLE. "Thankfully, because of what I do, it will also allow me the flexibility to spend a lot of quality time with him. I have so many exciting projects ahead this year but a brand new baby is an amazing way to get the new year started. We feel really blessed!" The timing for their newborn couldn't be better.

Almost exactly one year ago, Gokey, 32, and his model wife Peralta, 26, tied the knot in a low-key affair in Florida on January 29. Six months later, they shared the happy news of their pregnancy. This is the second marriage for Gokey, who tragically lost his first wife Sophia in 2008 after a routine surgery for congenital heart disease. Gokey now runs the Sophia's Heart Foundation, which helps needy children, in her honor.

-- Kevin O'Donnell

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