Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. has a lot to be thankful for this year.
The season six winner of “America’s Got Talent” – who was homeless at age 19 – is about to embark on a 13 date tour of sold out concerts (dates & tickets) and just released his first studio album, “That’s Life,” this week.
“I listened to it yesterday and my eyes got all teary again,” the former auto-detailer tells AGTNews.com. “I thought ‘Wow, I can’t believe I really accomplished this!’ The whole year has just been a big blur.”
Landau admits he took the first installment of his $1 million prize and splurged on a pair of Nike Jordan sneakers. “I put the rest of my money into a corporation so I don’t go off and splurge and spend it wildly,” he says. “I am setting up things for me to get health insurance, take care of my kids college funds — takin’ care of things in life that are important!
Here’s what else the grateful crooner told us when we caught up earlier today.
Q: You must be very excited about the record?
I am very pleased and very excited about it. I worked with an amazing producer named Steve Tyrell at Columbia/Sony Records and they just basically let me be myself and give everybody who voted for me exactly what they wanted. It is a good throwback style of music that everybody can appreciate and love.
Q: How long did it take to complete the record?
I finished my CD in record time, actually, I took me five days to do it. And about eight days to put the strings on it. It is like the fastest completion of a CD at Columbia/Sony ever.
Q: How did you pick the songs?
I just picked the songs that I thought a lot of my fans would appreciate. I picked all the good standards that I usually listen to when I have time to myself and I am not performing. And basically I wanted to give all my fans the songs I did on the show and then give them 7 more. If you liked me on the show you are gonna love my CD.
Q: Are you ready for the tour?
Right now I just have to get back to West Virginia, sit down with my family, have Thanksgiving dinner and then we’ll start putting the show together.
Q: What can your fans expect from your live shows?
They can expect Vegas coming to whatever town I am going to be in. I have a 20 – 25 piece orchestra that is going to be playing with me. I am just gonna go out there and be myself the same way I was on ‘AGT’
Q: Your fans love you because of your music — and because of how genuine and sincere you are. Can you promise that won’t change?
I can promise that. That is the reason I picked ‘AGT’ because I felt like it was a stage I could get great exposure on and I could be myself 100%. I didn’t want to be someone I wasn’t. That is hard to sustain.
Q: Yes, but fame can change people.
It can change you, but you can’t let your feet get off the ground. I am keeping mine perfectly planted.
Q: Words of wisdom for people trying out for season seven?
My words of wisdom is that if Howard Stern is going to be on there, I think all the freaks should come out and audition cause this will be their year. I am going to miss Piers so much. He really made me step my game up each time I came out. He hit everything on the head. He really gave his 100% thought and everything was so accurate.