'America's Got Talent' winner shares spotlight

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.
Contributed photo
Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 02:40 PM.

PANAMA CITY — Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., winner of NBC’s sixth season of “America’s Got Talent,” was looking for a bigger stage and he got it.

“When I signed up for the show, there was a double rainbow,” Landau said. “It was my moment, all I had to do is let go and let God in. God’s presence was around me, and He had His hand on me. I don’t think it was anything else, don’t think it was me — my time, my blessings.”

In November 2010, Landau and his wife, Jennifer, left their hometown of Logan, W.V., with not much more than what they were wearing.

“My mother-in-law’s husband had died, and me and my wife would go up there to spend the night,” Landau said. “When we got home, someone had kicked the door down, took the copper out of the walls, water was running out the front door and they had kicked the washer. I got mad for probably about two or three days, before I was able to sit and think, calm. God said, ‘All you need is a bigger stage.’ Don’t get mad because of all this. I just took all the stuff out of your way, so nothing is holding you back. Howie Mandel came across the screen right then …”

Landau and Jennifer were among thousands standing in line for more than 12 hours outside the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan to audition for “America’s Got Talent.”

“I picked Frank Sinatra as my genre to show respect to my elders, and I wanted to show younger generations hip hop and rap are not the only other things,” Landau said. “Pick songs that make people feel good.”

In his youth, Landau played basketball for a church league, keeping him fed and out of trouble. When he’d made a shot or dunk on someone, he was known for running back down the court singing “Fly Me to the Moon.”

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