Singer/songwriter Jimmy Wayne has gained fame and incredible success with his hit songs “Do You Believe Me Now,’ ‘I Love You This Much’ and ‘Stay Gone.’ Now, the country star is fulfilling a promise he made to himself years ago – to raise awareness and give hope to children in foster care, as he once was. In an interview with WREG News Channel 3, Wayne described the troubles he encountered throughout his childhood.
“Everyday was drug addicts, crime,
prostitution, violence in the house.”
Wayne’s father abandoned him at an early age, and his mother was in and out of his life. At age 12, his mother and stepfather left him on the side of the road, miles away from home. Wayne spent many years in and out of foster homes, even spending some time in a juvenile detention center. At age 16, he was homeless. That summer, he found work mowing the lawn for elderly couple Bea and Russell Costner. At the end of the summer, Bea invited Wayne to live with them. He eventually graduated high school and went on to earn an associate’s degree from the local community college. Wayne worked as a corrections officer for four years before moving to Nashville to pursue a music career.
After touring with Brad Paisley in 2009, Wayne came up with the idea to walk halfway across America to raise awareness of youth aging out of the foster care system and ending up homeless. In 2010, he embarked on the ‘Meet Me Halfway’ walk from Nashville to Phoenix.
In April 2014, Wayne was the keynote speaker at KVC’s 16th Annual Resource Family Conference. The event took place at the Overland Park, Kan. Marriott in the greater Kansas City area, and was simulcast to gatherings of foster/adoptive families in Omaha, Neb. and Daniels, W.Va. In total, over 1,500 people participated in the conference and heard from Wayne. He performed several of his hit songs and shared stories from his childhood with a room full of children in foster care along with birth, relative, foster and adoptive parents.
In October 2014, Wayne released his autobiography ‘Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way,’ which has since become a New York Times Bestseller. Wayne currently lives in Nashville and continues to raise awareness about youth aging out of foster care by singing, writing and speaking. ‘Walk to Beautiful’ can be purchased at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Walmart or Amazon.