(WVVA) - America's Got Talent, season 6 winner, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. used down time during the pandemic to finish something he started long before beginning a career as a singer. Now he has his GED.
"I just hated the fact that I could never put high school graduate on my applications," Murphy admitted.
Murphy said he dropped out in the 11th grade.
"It was just me adapting to a new environment. You have to realize I was born in Logan, West Virginia, and then my parents split up, and then my mom moved me to Detroit. I had to adapt to a whole new lifestyle in 1984. That was the crack boom, gang violence, all that stuff was brand new to me," Murphy said.
The singer said he didn't finish high school, opting to enter the workforce. Pursuit of paychecks put the goal of getting a diploma in the back seat as he navigated life. The third try with the GED test was the charm.
Murphy would have graduated in 1992, but he finally received his diploma 3 decades later, just a few days after his 46th birthday.
"It took me 30 years, but I actually did it. So if anyone is thinking about dropping out look at my testimony and go ahead and finish so you don't have to go through the things that I went through, as far as regretting it later on in life," Murphy Jr. said.
Murphy said his mother didn't graduate, but his younger brother earned a GED in jail, inspiring him to step up and do it.
"Stay true to yourself. Listen to your heart and always realize it's never too late to do the things you want to do. Follow your dreams and goals because a lot of embarrassment will stop you from doing it. I didn't care, I was doing this for myself," the singer said.