Danny GokeyFor every one 'American Idol' alum who finds success beyond the show, there are at least a dozen who fade out of the spotlight. Season 8's third-place finalist, Danny Gokey, is one alum who's made quite a name for himself post-'Idol,' releasing his first country single, 'My Best Days Are Ahead of Me,' last month. He says contestants need to be more proactive about their musical fate.

"It's being persistent," Danny tells The Boot, when asked about the secret to success beyond 'Idol.' "When you're on a platform that large, people will sit down and just wait for something to happen. Like, 'I've been exposed to 30 million people, so I'll just sit back and wait for the calls to come in.' Many people don't have an internal vision to go after something, fight for something, make a plan. So the biggest thing is -- until you get picked up by a major label or until something breaks, you need to plan out what your dream is going to be."

Danny's debut country album, titled 'My Best Days,' is due for release on March 2. The singer hopes fans will feel like they're on a "journey" with him, as they listen to the project from start to finish. "When I sing songs, I love to put emotion into it," he says. "I want people to feel what I feel and just disappear for a moment."

Danny already has a huge fan base, thanks to 'American Idol' and the tour on which he and his fellow Season 8 finalists embarked after the show. He's no doubt grateful for his following, though he admits some fans go a little overboard.

"I had underwear thrown on stage that said 'Gokey' on the back ... all glittery! It was grandma-underwear, too," Danny says with a laugh, and then turns to a fan story that's not quite so funny: "And I had this lady who was married who would come to a lot of the shows. She told me her husband would get mad that she was coming to all these shows, because she thought I was cute. She'd get backstage all the time -- I don't know how. I finally had to tell her, 'I have no interest in you ... and no interest in breaking up a marriage!' It was so uncomfortable."