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Million-dollar winner comes to Chicago

Singer Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. .

Singer Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. .

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Updated: December 16, 2011 8:13AM

N BC’S “AMERICA’S GOT TALENT” 2011 winner, soulful singer Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., is blowing into the Windy City this week.

Murphy, 37, whose enchanting voice evokes Frank Sinatra, won $1 million on the show in September and a contract to headline in Las Vegas. He will continue to captivate crowds when he appears 7 p.m. Saturday at the “Music Experience” event hosted by Dedry Jones at the DuSable Museum.

This unique vocalist, who hails from West Virginia and is the father of four and worked as a car washer for the past 10 years, amazed the TV audience at the competition and received a standing ovation when he belted out the Sinatra classic “I Get A Kick Out of You” with his dreadlocks framing his chiseled, chocolate face. Murphy will give an interview, a mini-concert and sign his debut CD “That’s Life,” which will be officially released to the public on Nov. 21.

Murphy recorded the CD that features more of Sinatra’s standard songs such as “Fly Me to the Moon,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “My Way” at the Capitol Studios in Hollywood where Ol’ Blue Eyes recorded many of his hit albums. He is certainly bringing classic music to the attention of a much younger audience and is a crossover artist. For ticket info call: (773) 493-0154.

I’M NOT saying she’s “a gold digger” but according to some insiders familiar with Sharon Bialek, the north suburban woman who is accusing presidential hopeful Herman Cain of sexually harassing her, allegedly was known to go out of her way to meet high-profile men, and her conversation would most often lead to her needing a job and her financial problems.

FORMER FIRST lady Maggie Daley will receive the Excellence in Public Service award at the Motorola Solutions Foundation’s dinner Dec. 8 at the Palmer House.

THE MADE IN CHICAGO Presented by AIBI store opens to the shopping public starting Wednesday through Dec. 31 at 44 E. Grand Ave. This “pop up” shop, made possible by the City of Chicago, will feature items from 21 of Chicago’s most fashionable designers. . . . Vocalist Carla Prather performing at Rumba on Wednesday.

AWARD-WINNING journalist Clarence Waldron, who was honored as “the dean of arts and entertainment reporters” last year by the NABJ, has left Johnson Publishing’s Jet magazine after 29 years. He was the go-to guy who landed exclusive interviews with celebs including Aretha Franklin, Maya Angelou and Whitney Houston. He will continue to teach at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and Columbia College and has several book projects in the works.

GOSPEL GOOD MUSIC: The dynamic gospel Grammy Award-winning duo of Mary Mary will perform “Tis the Season” and their signature hit “Shackles” Saturday at the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. The sisters, whose latest hit is “Walking” off of their “Something Big” CD, will be backed by the Soul Children of Chicago and the Chicago Mass Choir . . . The energetic gospel great and award-winning recording artist Kirk Franklin will bring his “Fearless” concert to the House of Hope, 752 E. 114th St., on Friday. Franklin has teamed up with the American Heart Association’s ‘‘Power to End Stroke” campaign. Gospel singer Isaac Carree and BET “Sunday Best” winner Amber Bullock will also perform.

LOCAL ATTORNEY Irv Stenn, a trustee of the Art Institute, is presenting the Institute with his unique collection of contemporary postwar drawings for an exhibit at the Institute beginning Saturday.

ABOUT TOWN: Rosie O’Donnell and her lover, Michelle Rounds, dined at Mastro’s . . . “Pan Am” star Kelli Garner and Johnny (“Big Band Theory”) Galecki hung out with Billy Dec at the Underground . . . Singer Paul Simon and wife Edie Brickell lunched at Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House . . . Hall of Famers Marv Levy and Ryne Sandberg dined at Harry Caray’s on Kinzie on Sunday. Levy will be signing his new book Between the Lies at the eatery starting 6:30 p.m. Thursday. . . . The Hawks’ Patrick Kane, Bears’ coach Lovie Smith and wife, MaryAnne, and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau dined on separate occasions at Joe’s Stone Crab.

BIRTHDAY PEOPLE: Former Ald. Helen Shiller. On Wednesday: Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal.

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