LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A Lake Charles karaoke star may soon be singing on a much bigger stage. Singer Duane Dunaway traveled to Austin, Texas last week to audition for the television show America's Got Talent.
His 90-second rendition of Al Green's Let's Stay Together could be his big break.
He prefers the crowd of the frosty factory, but he'll take any stage he can get around town. You may see him at The Spot at Jimbo's or Mary's Lounge, singing Eric Clapton or Elvis Presley.
"I've been singing all my life," said Dunaway. "I've never done anything professionally, but I love music and it's just been important to me all my life.
Duane Dunaway is aiming for a bigger stage: the America's Got Talent Stage. He auditioned in Austin last week and is submitting a web video to boost his chances.
"It's an amazing feeling, and I just haven't felt anymore complete in my lifetime than when I'm doing that," said Dunaway.
He almost didn't get the chance. On the night of December 14, Dunaway walked to his car after singing karaoke at College Station, a sports bar and lounge in town. A group of men attacked him in the parking lot. He suffered a broken cheekbone and is reminded daily of the beating through his pain.
"I've got several pressure points that ache pretty constantly, and these teeth vibrate whenever I'm speaking," said Dunaway.
But Dunaway is taking advantage of this opportunity, doing exactly what he's always dreamed of doing, performing songs to a welcoming audience.
"To see them respond and connect with it, I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to do," said Dunaway.
An arrest was made in connection with the attack on Dunaway. The charges are under review and District Attorney John DeRosier has requested more information from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.
Dunaway is hoping to hear from America's Got Talent by the end of February on whether or not he's made it to the next round.