Got Talent sixth-season winner, Landau E. Murphy Jr., is the spokesperson
for Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) and appears in TV, radio and
outdoor ads to promote diabetes awareness and prevention. Down and
out one minute and within a series of unforgetable moments, feeling
on top of the world. Since his win Landau has been collecting positive
memories like a kid in a candy store. With his infectious laugh and
smile for days, he sat and spoke with ABILITY Magazines
Lia Martirosyan: Youve got a lot going on. What motivated
you to become a spokesperson for a West Virginia diabetes program?
Landau E. Murphy Jr.: People who have diabetes are dear to my heart,
and I want to help them. My mom and a close friend were both diagnosed
with the disease, and then the EDC program reached out to me and asked
me if I would be a spokesperson. I said, Sure. Were
offering free classes to everybody in the state to show them how to
control diabetes and how to eat well and things like that.
Martirosyan: How long have been you been doing this?
Murphy: I just started because before that I was on Americas
Got Talent, and then I toured for about two and a half years. When
I got back, they came to me to be the spokesperson, I told them about
my mom and my friend. Ive been on the campaign trail with EDC
for about four months.
Martirosyan: What initially inspired you to audition for Americas
Murphy: I was at the end of my rope. Id been robbed. Somebody
took all my clothes, all the furniture out of my house, all the copper
out of the walls. And they did it while my wife and I were away spending
a couple of nights with my mother-in-law, after her husband passed
away. So when we went back to our house and found out that it had
been broken into, I felt like God was telling me,
You need a bigger stage. Once I heard His voice, I asked
him, What stage? And thats when Howie Mandel was
on TV asking, Are you the next Americas Got Talent
Martirosyan: And you said, Yes!
Murphy: I thought, Thats the show right there for me, and God
blessed me with the gift of just walking out on stage and being very
popular with the audience. So I was really blessed to hear Gods
voice telling me to go for it. I did, and here I am.
The funny part about it is, I kept questioning what God meant by a
bigger stage, then the ad for Americas Got Talent went on to
ask: Do you have what it takes to headline your own show in
Martirosyan: Now thats a big stage.
Murphy: So thats how it happened, and I went with it. I walked
into the next room, signed up online, then waited six or seven months.
I had my audition on Nov. 16, 2010. And, then, they sent me home and
told me to stay out of trouble, go in my room and lock the door. And
I did that. I went home; I didnt tell anybody back home. I was
like, Whatever you want me to do Ill do. Come to New York
and get on a plane? Sure. So they flew me back and forth. And
that was it, man.
My life changed. The experience hasnt changed me as a person,
I think its made me better because Im able to give back
and pay it forward more, and teach the new generation what good musics
all about. Im playing the Great American Songbookall the
blue-sky, puffy-cloud classics. Music thats been missing. I
want to be one of the people who ushers it back in. Long as I can
do that, man, Im happy.
My concerts consist of black, white, Koreaneverybody. And the
age group is so broad, from kids to great-grandparents. I have a lot
of people with disabilities who come to my show as well. I personally
move them to the front of the line because the lines for my autograph
signings are so long. I make sure everybody has a good time at my
show. Then I stay until 3 oclock in the morning signing autographs
and taking pictures with all the fans, and thats after arriving
early and doing a meet-and-greet at the beginning of the evening.
So Im always the first one in the building and the last to leave.
Martirosyan: Thats kind of how I am at IHOP.
Murphy: I love that! I cant stop laughing, man!
Martirosyan: Tell me something you dont usually talk about,
something people dont know about you.
Murphy: I try to treat all my fans as if theyre the stars, and
make them feel as important as they make me feel. A lot of times Ill
pull them on stage to help me sing songs. I wouldnt have my
house, my fame or my career without them voting for me and appreciating
this talent that God blessed me with. I just want to share it every
day. Ive got so much comedy in my shows its ridiculous.
I want to put a smile on someones face. Im happy Im
putting one on yours right now. Ive got so many stories to tell
about my life, my personal problems, my struggles with peer pressure
and self-esteem. Its hard to put yourself in front of a camera,
in front of the world, when you dont feel like you look the
part. Ive always had that problem. But I deal with it every
day. When Im interviewing, Im like, How do I look?
Do I look all right?
A lot of people dont get to see this side of me on television.
They just see me going and doing what God asked me to go do. But when
you come to my concerts or meet me in person, you get to see my personality,
what Im really all about. And I really appreciate your taking
the time to do this interview because Ive never really laughed
so much before, except for when Im clowning around with my kids.
This is so cool.
Martirosyan: Tell me about your kids.
Murphy: Ive got five.
Martirosyan: When did you have time to have five; youre so young?!
Murphy: Im 39; Ill be 40 in August. I had my first son,
Michael, when I was 19 or 20, so right now hes going on 20.
Hes in college. Hes an extremely good cellist, and is
majoring in music. Ive got another son named Marcus, and he
and I are starting a record label together.
Murphy: He was out in LA with me when I was at Capitol Studios. Hes
having a fantastic time just traveling with me. And Ive got
a stepdaughter named Kyra, whos a straight-A student. Shes
in the honor society, and getting ready to graduate. Then my youngest
daughter is Morgan; shes a fashion nut. I dont know what
shes going to do in life, but shes making good grades
and playing basketball. My youngest son Terrick is the spitting image
of me. He loves the outdoors, from motorcycles to hunting, fishing,
bike riding and camping. He also loves the guitar. Anyhow, all my
kids, I set them all down before I went on the road and told them
how my life was going to be, and how they needed to stay humble. They....
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