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SharePrint Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

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Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., a singer from Logan, won the nationally televised America’s Got Talent in 2011. His prize was $1 million and the opportunity to perform at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

Murphy was born August 11, 1974, in Logan. In his early teens, he moved to Detroit where he was surrounded by crime and violence. By the time he was 20, he was unemployed, homeless, and living out of his car. His life improved over time, but in 1999, he returned to Logan. Murphy was washing cars at a Chapmanville car dealership when he competed on America’s Got Talent.

Although not professionally trained, Murphy always sang for friends and family. He won a local talent competition that he entered on the suggestion of his girlfriend (now wife) Jennifer. He also performed with a band called Top Shelf that played rhythm and blues and southern rock. He discovered the old standards of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and the rest of the Rat Pack through television shows and commercials, and he began to sing those songs on his own.

In 2010, he decided he needed a bigger stage, so he traveled to New York where he auditioned for America’s Got Talent. He was selected to perform on stage for the celebrity judges, and his rendition of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” earned him a standing ovation from the audience. West Virginians tuned in throughout the summer as he progressed through the competition. On the final night of the contest, Murphy sang the Sinatra standard, “My Way,” once again earning a standing ovation. Viewers cast their votes and selected him over two dance teams and a pop group, and he was named the show’s winner on September 14, 2011. Two months later he released his first album, That’s Life. He continues to perform and make appearances for charitable organizations in West Virginia.

The (Charleston) Sunday Gazette-Mail chose Murphy as the 2011 West Virginian of the Year.

Last Revised on December 08, 2015


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e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 08 December 2015. Web. 16 January 2018.

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