BLUEFIELD — Like most people, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., the Sinatra singing season six winner of NBC TV’s “America’s Got Talent” has had an eventful 2020.
After being forced off the road by the pandemic in March 2020, Murphy put his new downtime to good use by going back to school virtually to get his high school equivalency diploma. While Murphy holds an honorary Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Charleston, he had dropped out of high school nearly three decades previous to support himself and his family.
“I needed to set a good example for my son Logan, and for everybody, that your education is really important and to never give up,” Murphy said.
After earning his high school diploma, he performed a trio of virtual concerts for fans and completed remix sessions for his upcoming, “Landau-Live in Las Vegas” album.
In addition, Landau, a frequent entertainer at casino resorts in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and across the U.S.A. was also asked to be a presenter at this year’s Casino Entertainment Awards telecast. Murphy had performed at the event to much acclaim in 2017 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
The same week Landau recorded his Casino Entertainment Awards segment, he began to feel poorly, lost his sense of taste and smell, and tested positive for COVID-19.
“It was so weird, I didn’t even realize that I couldn’t smell until someone asked me to smell something,” Murphy said. “I am so thankful for my son keeping me going. He needs me so he kept me going.”
Fortunately, Murphy’s son, Logan, did not contract COVID-19, and Landau’s was a relatively mild case. After self-quarantining at his home in Logan County, W.Va., he’s feeling much better now.
“When I’m not on tour, I’m really a big homebody, so it wasn’t that hard for me to lockdown. I’ve barely left the house since March. But last month, I took my little boy to a small gathering of 8 people to carve Halloween pumpkins, and most of the adults who were there around that table caught the virus,” Murphy said.
“So, I can’t stress to people enough how contagious this is; please wear your mask anytime you’re around other people and practice good social distancing, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up.”
Now that he’s feeling better, Landau is helping kids across his home state get a little extra Christmas cheer with his first-ever “Landau’s Kids Joy Toy Drive”. Landau’s fans can order toys and books online (“we didn’t want anyone to feel unsafe going into stores”) and they’ll be shipped directly to Landau, who will deliver them to needy kids across the Mountain State just before Christmas.
Order links are available on the singer’s website and social media platforms.
“I have teamed up with other charities before but this one is my idea. I noticed during my downtime that a lot of little kids need some joy,” Murphy said. “Team Landau put it together. Everybody needs some joy. This is straight from the heart and I would love to have enough toys for every kid in W.Va., well the whole world.”
Landau is also planning a series of virtual concerts in December for his tenth annual “Home For The Holidays Tour” in conjunction with SessionsLive.
Fans will be able to interact directly with Landau, request their favorite songs, order CDs and other merchandise, and more. “If it might be unsafe for you to come to a theater to see me, so I’m going to come to see you this Christmas, online. We all need to keep that human connection to one another,” says Landau.
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