West Virginia native Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. believes "America" is responsible for his win last year on "America's Got Talent" and said everybody who voted deserves a hug and an autograph from him.
The Sinatra-style singer with braids from Logan County will meet and greet fans after he performs a free concert at Wheeling's Heritage Port on Saturday - the kickoff to West Virginia's 149th birthday celebration in the Friendly City.
The music begins at 4:30 p.m. with the National Pike Pickers, followed by the Marsh Wheeling String Band at 5:45 p.m. and the Joe Zelek Band at 7 p.m.
Landau Eugene Murphy
Murphy is set to take the stage at 8:30 p.m. At the end of his concert, fireworks will be set off from the Wheeling Suspension Bridge. He noted he will stay and sign autographs after the show.
Murphy - who worked at a car wash prior to appearing on AGT - said he just can't turn down autographs and hugs to the people who are responsible for his new life and success. He knows when he goes out in public he isn't "like anybody else in the room."
"Everybody in the room wants an autograph and picture, and I feel like they deserve it," Murphy said. "Even if my family gets mad ... and they do sometimes ... I won't stop.
"I tell them if they are going to hang out with me, they have to expect it," he continued. "These people voted for me, bought my CDs and come to my concerts. They raised my station in life. I owe to all my fans to give them an autograph or a hug."
Murphy said he grew up watching the music videos of John Mellancamp, Duran Duran and Michael Jackson and has an appreciation of all music genres. In recent years, he has listened to hip hop.
But he added he has always felt a positive vibe listening to the stylings of Sinatra and other crooners.
"I was able to choose the genre I went into, and it was a blessing," Murphy said. "These are happy songs. They're timeless. They bring back good memories and create new memories for generations now.
"I'm keeping it alive, although that music will never go away," he added. "After I'm gone, the Sinatra music won't go away."
Murphy is in the process of preparing his new compact disc release, which will include classic songs as well as his own originals "like Sinatra would have sung it."
He has a Christmas collection due out in early September and is about to sign a 10-week deal to sing at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.
When not performing, Murphy lives in the same home in Logan County he had prior to winning AGT and plays basketball with neighborhood children to stay in shape. He added he is not surprised he finally has found success after seeking it for many years.
"I have always envisioned it," he said. "But I also said I wouldn't let it change me, who I am or the places I want to go.
"This whole whole genre is so down to earth. ... I never put my head up in the clouds," he continued. "I always wanted to fly, and now I'm doing it every other week."