And the ‘America’s Got Talent’ Winner Is…

by | September 15, 2011 at 6:50 AM | America's Got Talent

"America's Got Talent." (NBC)

"America's Got Talent." (NBC)

[**SPOILER ALERT**] He went from rags to riches!

Frank Sinatra sound-alike Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. – a car washer from Logan, West Virginia – claimed the $1 million grand prize on “America’s Got Talent” Wednesday night.

“It has been a long hard journey,” he told host Nick Cannon, while fighting back tears.  “I have been busting my butt out here doing this for a long time — since I was a kid.”

Murphy, a father of four, was a favorite to win the $1 million prize from his first audition in New York.

“Your life is never going to be the same,” judge Howie Mandel told him at the time.

Watch Eugene Perform:

Murphy sealed his victory Tuesday night with a rousing rendition of “My Way,” which judge Piers Morgan called his “million dollar performance.”

“My whole thing was just to go to New York and sing Frank Sinatra songs without getting booed, without getting the X.  This experience has change my life tremendously,” Murphy says.

We caught up with the crooner moments after he stepped offstage…

Can you believe you won?
I am still shocked.  I was thinking Team illuminate would win.  Once they got eliminated, I was thinking, I got a real chance at wining this thing.

What do you think made America fall in love with you?
It was just me being myself.  It was never an act.  It was just me being me, going out on stage and doing the music I love to do for the people I want to cater to, which is the older people, my elders.  My grandparents, people like that.  But I will cater to the younger audience as well.  They don’t even know about big band music.  They are going to know all about it.

When you make that first CD, what kind of music will be on it?
It will be a classic crooner album.  Then I can probably dabble in some jazz or sooth it out with some R&B.  I do every kind of music except for Bluegrass – but I will try that too.  I do what makes me feel god and what makes the people I am singing for feel good.

How will winning the $1 million cash prize change you?
The cash doesn’t even matter.  The money will come.  I walk by faith, not by sight.  I was a car washer six months ago.

Do you plan on ever going back to washing cars?
I plan on buying a super car wash and hiring some friends who don’t have nothing to do and puttin’ them to work.  But I don’t think I will be washing anymore cars.  Someone be washing mine now.

Watch The Winning Moment:

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