Published Mon, Sep 17, 2012 1:58 pm Dateline
This Friday, Ohio University kicks off its 2012-2013 Performing Arts Series season with a vocalist who has regional roots.
Logan, W.Va., native Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. came to national attention after winning the sixth season of America's Got Talent, sealing the deal with his rendition of Frank Sinatra's "My Way."
A debut album, That's Life, followed, entering the Top 40 and hitting the top spot on Billboard's jazz charts. In keeping with Murphy's Sinatra/Rat Pack style, That's Life was recorded in Capitol Records' Studio B, where legends such as Dean Martin, Judy Garland, Nat "King" Cole and ol' Blue Eyes himself recorded.
Murphy's sudden rise to fame is the latest chapter in an eventful, somewhat-troubled life. The 37-year old was washing cars and down to his last pair of pants and jacket when he arrived for the TV show audition, having been the recent victim of a home robbery.
"We didn’t discuss this during the show because we didn’t want people feeling sorry for us, " Murphy said in a press release. "Someone broke into our house and cleaned us out. They robbed us blind. Thank goodness we were able to move in with my mother-in-law. We had no place else to go."
Since winning America's Got Talent and recording his debut, Murphy's life has been on the upswing. In addition to headlining Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and performing at New York City's Apollo Theater, the singer has made TV appearances on The Today Show, The View and Anderson Cooper 360.
Friday's show time at 7:30 p.m. Visit www.ohio.edu/performingarts for tickets and information.