Murphy, a Logan County car washer, was chosen by American TV viewers as this year's champion of "America's Got Talent", as he won the top prize of $1 million and a show at Las Vegas' Caesar's Palace with his velvet renditions of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin classic songs.
Murphy appeared shocked as show host Nick Cannon announced he had won the competition over performance artists Silhouettes, an inspirational team of children who dance behind a screen that shows their silhouettes forming different objects and scenes.
The crowd at the watch party held at the Fountain Place Cinema 8 last night erupted into applause and cheers as it was announced that Murphy had won the contest.
Perry Birchfield, Murphy's brother-in-law, pumped his fist into the air and yelled in celebration of Murphy's victory.
"I told him from the beginning that he would win," Birchfield said. "I said if he ever got a shot, he'd win and there's no one more deserving of this than Landau."
Diana O'Briant also cheered loudly for Murphy.
"We are getting on a jet plane and going to Las Vegas," she said as she wiped away tears.
Logan County Circuit Judge Eric O'Briant said Murphy is the embodiment of the American Dream.
"Dreams do come true for those who work hard and believe," Judge O'Briant said. "This is a great story. It's great for our area, for our county and our state. He has represented us so well in every respect. It's a great story and we should all be proud. It is amazing."
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin sent his congratulations to Murphy early this morning.
"To say I am thrilled for Landau’s achievement is an understatement,” Gov. Tomblin said. “Last night was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments and it truly marks just the beginning of all the good things that are coming his way. He clearly has the talent but this win took hard work, drive and commitment. It is a terrific example to his many young fans, and in fact to all of us, that we can achieve our dreams and goals if we stay determined, stay focused and remain positive. I look forward to congratulating him in person.”
Nancy Price of Canton, Ga., called The Logan Banner this morning to voice her praise.
"His voice is unbelievable," Price, a 62-year-old, who has never been to West Virginia said. "I saw him when he first auditioned in blue jeans and when he opened his mouth, I knew right then that he was going to win. I was beside myself last night. I was so excited, I couldn't even sleep. If he comes out with a CD, I will be the first in line to buy one.
"I'm so happy for him. He seems like a very humble young man. When I heard him sing, it made me cry. I could listen to him sing 24 hours a day. God gave him a talent and I hope he goes on to be even more popular than Frank Sinatra."
Candice Branham and Amanda Brooks came all the way from Delbarton to Logan to watch Murphy on the big screen at Cinema 8. They both cheered Murphy's win.
"This is awesome," Branham said.
"He was great," Brooks said.
A Logan County celebration is being planned for Murphy, according to Logan County Chamber of Commerce Official Chad Akers.
"We want this to be a Logan County celebration and we want everyone to attend," Akers said. "We're going to have a huge celebration and a parade in honor of Landau Eugene Murphy Jr."
Akers said more information will be forthcoming as plans are finalized.
Hatfield-McCoy Convention and Visitor's Bureau Director Debrina Williams, who organized the watch parties the last three weeks, said she was nearly speechless.
"I am thrilled," Williams said.
Diana Barnette, owner of Cinema 8, said she was worried in the last few seconds before Cannon made the announcement that Murphy had won.
"I thought 'Oh, no, he's going to say Silhouettes,' because there were so many of them and each of them have family who voted and that's a lot of people," Barnette said. "But, because it was so hard to get through to vote for Landau last night, someone called the other numbers and they were all open. This is awesome and I guess we're going to Las Vegas now!"
Cora Hairston, Murphy's next door neighbor, said she is proud of her friend.
"He's my neighbor and we sing together, we pray together and we have fun together," Hairston said. "I knew he could do it and I had a feeling he was going to do it and he did it his way. I had all the confidence in the world in him."
Fred Hairston said he was nervous.
"He and I have played music together and I knew he could do it," Fred Hairston said.
Chapmanville Town Council Member Tony Robison said he knew Murphy, who is also known as "Dooney," could win the big prize.
"I'm going home to Landau County, because I now live in Dooneyville," Robison said.
Murphy's show at Caesar's Palace begins on October 28 and will run Oct. 29 and 30. The show will be hosted by Jerry Springer and will feature the three other acts in the Top 4 of the reality talent show.
Teen pop group, Poplyfe, and performance artists Team ILuminate will join Murphy and Silhouettes for the three-day show.