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Baltimore born street performer competing on American Idol

Posted at 5:44 PM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-21 21:45:23-04

BALTIMORE — His name is Philip Murphy Wiggins but he goes by Murphy or his street performing nickname “Blind Boy”

He got his start at a young age playing a keyboard his dad got him.

Growing up in East Baltimore he told me his neighbor gave him a guitar from the attic.

He started playing on the stoop of his home on E Biddle Street and neighbors started putting in their requests.

Eventually they nicknamed him American Idol and now he’s competing for a chance to win that title.

“The first time I was busking, or street performing was down in Baltimore on the Harbor,” said Murphy. “I shouldn’t have been but they didn’t say much to me that day. I made $60 in one hour. I remember making that money and being so happy. On the way home somebody asked me for a dollar, and I had it. I had something I could give.”

A sunny day and a park bench is the kind of stage Murphy thrives in.

“I wouldn’t have had my start had I not had that harbor and that moment where I was able to be myself so freely.”

Now on the west coast, he’s living the chance of a lifetime as he’s made it through the preliminaries to audition for American Idol.

“I remember listening to old radio and old tapes my dad had and remembering how much I enjoyed that sound and I wanted to emulate it. I just started singing and almost tried to mimic a clean sound like a tape.”

He’s excited for the opportunity to share his gift with the world, but he doesn’t want to win for himself.

This street performer has had a giving heart since he earned his first dollar performing.

“Regardless of how well I do in this or any venture I’m not going to stop pursuing my dream to help people. My big dream at the end is to have a homeless shelter. I don’t care if I’m 95 working my fingers to the bone to build the framework of this thing. I have to.”

How can you not root for Murphy.

We’re all pulling for you here in Baltimore my friend.

Update: March 21, 2021: Murphy made it to the Hollywood round and will be moving on to duets!