“America’s Got Talent” winner Landau Murphy Gives back to Hometown


Barry J Holmes ©

Landau Album Recording Session

Lucy Bell, Photographer

The allure of fame and fortune can often keep one in the bright lights of Hollywood, but jazz singer and West Virginia native Landau Murphy remains loyal to his hometown in Logan County even after years of stardom. 

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. rocketed into the spotlight in 2011 after winning the sixth season of America’s Got Talent. His win took him all around the globe, but he still calls West Virginia home.

“You know how the quote goes, there’s no place like home,” Murphy said. “Even as I climbed this ladder of the musical entertainment business, I’ve always felt like I didn’t want to take something away from the state that actually made me.”

Murphy will perform the national anthem on Oct. 12 during Marshall University’s football game against Lousiana.

Murphy continues to involve himself in the community in more ways than performing. In 2021, he became an ambassador of adult education for the West Virginia Department of Education, advocating for adults who did not finish high school to go back to school and receive their diplomas.

Being present and available in his home state as well as being able to give back to others is part of the importance of remaining in the state, according to Murphy.

“I am always going to be accessible,” Murphy said. “And somewhere some people can reach, and I can give them some feedback on how to pursue their dreams, how to never give up and how to continue to strive for the best.”

By using his platform and providing the next generation with advice on expanding their lives outside of the state, Murphy aims to guide others to more prosperous futures. 

“You know, a lot of people leave here, but they never come back to tell the youth how they did it,” Murphy said. “I’m actually letting them see it with their own eyes, and, hopefully, they can capitalize on that and go further than I will.”


Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the opponent for Marshall’s Oct. 12 football game, the correct opponent is Lousiana, not Gardner-Webb.