Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.

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Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.
Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.jpg
Murphy performing in December 2011.
Background information
Born(1974-08-11) August 11, 1974 (age 40)[1]
OriginLogan County, West Virginia, United States
GenresJazz
OccupationsSinger
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2011–present
LabelsSony (2011-present)[2]
Columbia (2011-present)[3]
Websitelandaumurphyjr.com
 
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Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.
Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.jpg
Murphy performing in December 2011.
Background information
Born(1974-08-11) August 11, 1974 (age 40)[1]
OriginLogan County, West Virginia, United States
GenresJazz
OccupationsSinger
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2011–present
LabelsSony (2011-present)[2]
Columbia (2011-present)[3]
Websitelandaumurphyjr.com

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. (born August 11, 1974)[1] is an American jazz singer from Logan County, West Virginia. He received national attention for winning the sixth season of the NBC reality show America's Got Talent.[4]

Before America's Got Talent[edit]

Murphy's father had been a coal miner. His parents divorced when Murphy was eight, after which he moved with his mother, and his two brothers and two sisters to Detroit, Michigan. He dropped out of school in the 11th grade to take care of his family. He later said, "Church and basketball were the only things that got me out of the house and kept me going."

After moving back home to Logan, West Virginia in the late 1990s, Landau renewed a friendship with a childhood friend, Jennifer Carter. They worked together at a restaurant where she was a manager, and they married in 2005. They are currently going through a divorce.

Murphy had been homeless at age 19, sleeping in his car. He worked as a car washer during the months leading up to his TV performances, and was nearly destitute as a result of his home having been robbed. He was down to his last pair of pants and jacket when he arrived to sing at his America's Got Talent audition.

America's Got Talent[edit]

In November 2010, Murphy and his wife Jennifer left their hometown of Logan, WV for New York City, where they stood for over twelve hours outside the Jacob Javits Convention Center to audition for NBC’s America’s Got Talent. They are currently going through a divorce.

Murphy was named as the winner of the show on September 14, 2011, after a performance of "My Way", a song popularized by Frank Sinatra.[4][5] He won the $1 million grand prize and began a headlining act in Las Vegas on October 28.[6]

Performances and results[edit]

WeekThemeSong choiceOriginal artistPerformance orderResult
Audition"I've Got You Under My Skin"Frank SinatraN/ASafe
Vegas WeekJudge's Favorites"I Get a Kick out of You"Ethel MermanN/ASafe
Top 48Quarterfinals"Fly Me to the Moon"Felicia Sanders7Safe
Top 24Semifinals"I've Got the World on a String"Cab Calloway11Safe
Top 10Top Ten Finals"Ain't That a Kick in the Head?"Dean Martin9Safe
Top 4Finale"My Way"Frank Sinatra1Winner

That's Life[edit]

After winning, Landau signed to Sony Records and Columbia Records,[3] and released his first album That's Life on November 21, 2011.[2] The album debuted at #34 on the Billboard 200, selling 28,000 copies, then fell to #41 the next week on the charts. It debuted at number one on the Billboard jazz charts, and also reached #1 in the Jazz category on Amazon.com.

Many have compared Landau’s vocals and phrasing to that of Frank Sinatra, a singer he has always admired. Many of the tracks from That’s Life are Sinatra standards. Landau said of the album, "For a lot of music fans, especially older people, I can bring back some happy memories. And hopefully I can create new memories for generations to come."

That's Life was produced by Steve Tyrell, himself an aficionado of Sinatra’s music.

Live performances[edit]

As part of his AGT prize, Landau headlined a show at the Colosseum Theater at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Other tour stops include the Apollo Theatre, the DTE Energy Center in Detroit with The Temptations, headlining appearances at the West Virginia and California State Fairs, a Super Bowl appearance, a televised performance at The Hollywood Christmas Parade and a string of sold out headlining shows across the USA (many supporting local charities). Major media appearances have included The Today Show, Anderson Cooper, The View, The Talk, The Wendy Williams Show, Fox and Friends, CNN, The Tom Joyner Show, Scott and Todd on WPLJ, Good Day LA, and many more.

He has also sung the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden, WVU's Mountaineer Field, prior to a West Virginia University/LSU matchup and at several other public events.[6]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

TitleDetailsPeak chart
positions
Sales
US
That's Life
  • Release date: November 21, 2011
  • Label: Columbia
  • Format: CD, digital download
34
Christmas Made for Two
  • Release date: November 5, 2013
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: CD, digital download

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. - AGTNews.com Finale Interview - 09/14/2011". YouTube. Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b America's Got Talent winner records his million dollar CD in H-Town with Steve Tyrell
  3. ^ a b Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., Winner of "America's Got Talent," to Release That's Life November 21
  4. ^ a b Harold, Zack. "Logan wigs out for Landau Murphy Jr.". Charleston Daily Mail. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Macht, Daniel. "Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. Wins "America's Got Talent"". NBCDFW.com. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Shira, Dahvi (September 15, 2011). "Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. Wants AGT Win to Inspire Hope". People Magazine. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Building Album Sales Chart". HITS Daily Double. 2012-01-16. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 

External links[edit]