Big-time basketball fan Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. will perform the national anthem and provide the halftime entertainment tonight when the Oklahoma City Thunder takes on the NBA champion Miami Heat at Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno.
The game will tip off at 7 p.m. Murphy also will be signing copies of his debut CD “That’s Life” in the concourse for fans after his performance.
It will be Landau’s second trip to Oklahoma in the last two months; in January, he performed at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa to a sold-out crowd.
“I’m excited to come back to Oklahoma, and can’t want to see the Thunder in action. I even get to bring my wife Jennifer for Valentine’s Day, so this is doubly sweet,” said Murphy in a news release.
Murphy is a huge roundball fan who played street ball and church league basketball as a kid with Chris Weber and recently participated in a charity basketball game with San Francisco 49ers star Randy Moss and other former college and pro stars.
He has been performing to sell-out audiences and standing ovations since winning the “America’s Got Talent” crown. Recent appearances include an Armed Forces Entertainment tour of Europe to perform for members of the U.S. military and their families, which Murphy called a “huge honor.” He also appeared earlier this month on the “China’s Got Talent” program, seen by more than 300 million viewers, and is in discussions to headline this year his first tour of China, including a stop at Shanghai’s Mercedes Benz Arena. Other upcoming concert appearances already on the books in 2013 include Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, the Sands Casino in Michigan and Hollywood Casino in Columbus.
Fans of Landau’s Columbia Records debut CD release “That’s Life,” produced by Grammy winner Steve Tyrell, will be pleased to learn that Murphy has begun rehearsals for his follow-up album. Initial plans call for it to feature Landau’s unique and timeless take on classics from the “Great American Songbook,” along with some R&B-flavored material. Murphy’s first CD hit the top spot on both the Billboard and Amazon Jazz charts and debuted in the top 40 overall.
The former car washer and father of five from Logan, W.Va., captured America’s heart with his music, his humble, gracious nature and his message to dream big and never give up. More than 14 million people each week watched and voted as Landau rose to the top on “America’s Got Talent” on national television.
Since his $ 1 million win, Murphy has headlined at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, sold out the legendary Apollo Theatre in New York, performed for ESPN at the Superbowl and Madison Square Garden, was nominated for “Outstanding New Artist” at the NAACP’s Image Awards and appeared on their national telecast, received the “West Virginian of the Year” award and “Reality TV Personality of the Year” in Hollywood and has honored his country by performing the national anthem for his home state fans prior to nationally televised WVU and Marshall football and basketball games. He has also appeared on several national television shows including “Today,” “Fox and Friends,” “Anderson Cooper,” “Wendy Williams,” “The View,” “The Talk,” “Showbiz Tonight,” “Access Hollywood,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “Good Day L.A.” and the telecast of the Hollywood Christmas Parade.