“America’s Got Talent” winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. shared his life’s story with Logan County students and performed three concerts at the Logan Memorial Fieldhouse on Wednesday.
Murphy donated his time to bring his positive message and songs to the school children.
Murphy sang several of his hit songs and brought many Logan County students out onto the floor to dance and sing along with him.
The car-washer-turned-crooner said the experience was just as amazing for him as it was for the kids.
“It’s always a pleasure to come back home and do things for my hometown,” Murphy said. “It was amazing. These kids really understand who I am and they appreciate what I’ve been doing for the county.”
Murphy told the kids about his life growing up in Logan and Detroit and how blessed they are to grow up in Logan County.
“I want to tell you all how lucky you are to be in a place like this,” Murphy said, detailing to the students how much rougher life is in the big city. “It was so wild. It was like growing up in a whole, new world. But, I adapted to it. I guess growing up in West Virginia has taught me to be ready for anything.”
Murphy said he always believed he could make it big with his singing, even when those around him lost their faith.
“I always believed in myself,” Murphy said. “I never, ever gave up. I just kept going and I never stopped. As long as you dream and stay focused on your dreams, I don’t think anything is impossible for you. You have to believe in yourself and then go out and try to achieve (your dreams).”
Murphy said his rags-to-riches story got its start in the Logan Memorial Fieldhouse.
“A lot of people told me I wouldn’t make it, but I kept grinding it out until I did make it,” Murphy said. “It all started right here in this gym.”
Murphy answered questions from the students before launching into a miniconcert in which he sang several standards from his hit CD “That’s Life”.
Maria Roberts, a student at Logan High School and a lifelong neighbor of Murphy’s, was brought out on the basketball court to sing “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” with Murphy. She said she can sing, but being brought out in front of her classmates to sing with Murphy made her nervous.
“He’s my homedog and we’ve been singing together for years, but it’s hard when you’re brought out in front of your peers,” Roberts said, laughing. “I loved it, though. It was a lot of fun. Landau is just a great, great, great person.”
Murphy is back on tour. He had just returned from a show in Hilton Head, S.C., and had performed in Charlotte and Huntington before coming back home for the trio of shows.
“It’s going great. I’ve done 52 shows and sold out 47 of them, so we’re doing really good,” Murphy said. “Team Landau is really taking over the world right now and we’re really having fun.”
Murphy said in addition to three more tour dates, he will make an appearance on the current season of America’s Got Talent and then he will do a series of shows in Las Vegas for 10 weeks. He will then do a concert with the Temptations in Detroit and will get to meet Sugar Ray Leonard before heading to the Greenbrier to perform during the upcoming golf tournament, in which Tiger Woods will play.
“It’s been a whirlwind and I am living my dreams,” Murphy said.
Mingo County Superintendent of Schools Randy Keathley, who was in Logan for a RESA II meeting, saw the early morning concert and bragged about Murphy and his message to the students.
“He had a wonderful message for the students,” Keathley said. “And a great song or two.”