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July 23, 2019 - Jimmy Wayne's Walk To Beautiful #1 Bestseller at Amazon.com

May 4, 2019 - Jimmy Wayne Receives National Foster Care Award

April 26, 2019 - Former Foster Kid Jimmy Wayne Lends His Voice To Aid Tara Hall Home For Boys

January 13, 2019 - Jimmy Wayne Takes Music-Infused Message To West Coast on 10-Day Speaking Tour

December 18, 2018 - Speaking From The Heart: The Reinvention Of Jimmy Wayne

December 18, 2018 - Country Aircheck | Off The Record: Jimmy Wayne (See page 8)

October 16, 2018 - Country Singer-Songwriter and Author Jimmy Wayne Keeps Advocating For Foster Children, Speaking In OKC

September 26, 2018 - Jimmy Wayne Makes Acting Debut In Lifetime’s “Every Other Holiday”

August 1, 2018 - Jimmy Wayne Eight-Year Anniversary of Walk Half Way Across America For At-Risk Youth

May 21, 2018 - California State University San Marcos Bestows Doctor of Fine Arts Degree Upon Jimmy Wayne in Recognition of His Contribution to Society, Dedication to Supporting Foster Youth

February 20, 2018 - "We Could Solve This Problem": Jimmy Wayne Urges Churches to Help Foster Kids

February 14, 2018 - Jimmy Wayne: A Star Who Shines For Others

December 6, 2017 - Jimmy Wayne #1 Amazon + Debuts News Channel for Kids

November 17, 2017 - Jimmy Wayne Raising Awareness On Foster Care And Adoption

October 24, 2017 - Jimmy Wayne Unveils New Album, Ruby Toons

August 7, 2017 - Meet Me Halfway Anniversary

June 28, 2017 - Foster Child Advocate and Country Recording Artist Jimmy Wayne Joins Legislative Leaders in Celebrating Child Welfare Reform

June 6, 2017 - Orphan Train Leads to Foster Care, Jimmy Wayne Keynotes Milestone Event

May 15, 2017 - Jimmy Wayne Releases His First Children's Book on Nov. 1

May 12, 2017 - People Magazine Offers Exclusive Preview of Jimmy Wayne’s Children’s Book

May 9, 2017 - Jimmy Wayne Awarded Honorary Doctorate from William Woods University

May 8, 2017 - Foster Care Alum, Jimmy Wayne, Delivers Powerful Presentation During Special Mother’s Day Service at Christ Church Nashville

May 4, 2017 - Jimmy Wayne Hosts UJA - Federation of New York’s Publishing Division Dinner Honoring Dennis Abboud, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Readerlink

Apr 12, 2017 - Jimmy Wayne Headlines for Verizon, Receives Inaugural ‘Community Maker’ Award and Grants Teen’s Wish for VGo Donation To Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Nov 21, 2016 - Jimmy Wayne Continues National Keynote Speaking Tour With Back-To-Back Sold-Out Events In Denver, Nashville, Dallas, and Chicago

Oct. 12, 2016 - Good Housekeeping Gives Jimmy Wayne Its Seal of Approval

Sep 21, 2016 - New York Times Bestselling Author and Award-Winning Country Music Artist Jimmy Wayne Named 2016 National “Angel in Adoption” By The Congressional Coalition of Adoption Institute

Jul 15, 2016 - Jimmy Wayne's Memoir 'Walk to Beautiful' Continues to Inspire Best-Selling Title Surpasses 100,000 Copies in Print

Apr 14, 2016 - Jimmy Wayne Celebrates 200th Grand Ole Opry Performance, A Song Featured in Coca-Cola’s National "Share a Coke and a Song" Campaign and a Third Appearance on the New York Times’ Bestsellers List


(Click for Full Bio)

Jimmy Wayne is a former foster kid turned award-winning country recording-artist whose songs and story highlight his mission to raise awareness for children in foster care. Jimmy’s hits include “Stay Gone,” “Paper Angels,” “I Love You This Much” and “Do You Believe Me Now,” which earned BMI’s prestigious Million-Air Award for receiving more than one million radio spins in America. In 2009, Jimmy toured with Brad Paisley and recorded “Sara Smile” with rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame duo Daryl Hall and John Oates.

In 2010, Jimmy walked halfway across America (from Nashville to Phoenix) to raise awareness for kids aging out of the foster care system. While walking, he wrote the Christmas novel Paper Angels (2011, Simon & Schuster). In 2012, Jimmy lobbied to pass legislative bills extending the age of foster care from 18 to 21 in California and Tennessee.

In 2013, Jimmy’s first film, Paper Angels (UPtv) became an instant holiday classic and in 2014 he released Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way (2014, Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins) which became a three-time New York Times bestseller, crossing the 170,000 sales milestone in early 2019, and became a #1 Bestseller at Amazon. . .

Walk To Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found The Way

Prologue: FTW: Twenty-Seven Years Earlier

I sat sullen and shirtless toward the end of the day, alone in my room at the county home where Mama and her fourth or fifth husband had dumped me.  My biological dad had left when I was a toddler, and Mama had already abandoned me several times as well.  I’d lost count by now how many men she’d had in my fourteen years.  A year earlier, Mama had married off my then-fourteen-year-old sister, Patricia, to an older, abusive man.

So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when Mama ordered me out of the car at midnight in a bus station parking lot back then.  I was barely thirteen years old; I stood there by myself, hundreds of miles from home, as I watched her pull away into the night with her lover.  More recently, she and her husband had deceived a judge into designating me as a ward of the state.  No doubt the judge thought the group home, known as Faith Farm, would be a safer, healthier environment for me than living in the chaos, drugs, alcohol, and other blatantly immoral behavior that constantly swirled around Mama’s home.  

He was wrong.

I hated my life.  I hated living.  I hated everything and everyone.  I just wanted to die.

Faith Farm was an old frame house with creaky wooden stairs, so I turned off my heavy metal music so I could hear anyone coming up the staircase.  I knew that if a staff member caught me doing what I was about to do, I could get into serious trouble.  None of the other foster kids were around.  It was just me, the evening sunlight, a small jar of black ink, and a sewing needle I’d found.  I wrapped some thread around the tip of the needle so it could soak up some ink, like the wick on our old kerosene heater.  I dipped the needle into the murky, dark liquid and watched it saturate the thread.

Carefully, I drew the needle out of the ink and then pushed the needle into my skin slightly above my left breast.  Ouch! I screamed silently as the pain seared into my chest.  It felt like a pinprick, but the burning sensation didn’t disappear.  Again and again I stuck the makeshift tattoo needle into my breast, the ink-soaked thread leaving an indelible mark as I pulled it through my skin.

Slowly, the letters began to take shape.  First the F. Then T. Blood dripped down my chest, staining the top of my pants.  With every prick of the needle, I was reminding myself of what I felt.

I knew what those letters meant.  Most of the foster kids I’d met knew what the initials signified as well.  Those who didn’t would get it all too soon.  FTW.

Again and again I stuck the needle into my breast, stabbing my skin repeatedly as I painstakingly drew, dot by excruciating dot, a cross and a battle-ax below the letters.

Blood now ran freely down my rib cage.  Bitter memories of my childhood raced through my mind, and I became angrier yet somehow more numb as the pain of my childhood replaced the pain of the needle.  I stabbed my skin faster and faster, until finally a mixture of blood and ink smeared my chest.

Only then did I stop. I sat there quietly with calligraphy ink cover- ing my hands, my eyes searching all around the room.  I didn’t know what I was looking for; I was lost and alone.

 After a few minutes I stood up, walked over to the mirror, and stared at the initials freshly tattooed into my swollen chest, the letters emblazoned in purple ink, the skin around each letter a sickly reddish- purple color.  FTW—those initials expressed exactly what I felt inside.  The cross and battle-ax below the initials represented my war with reli- gion.   If God really loves me, as I’ve heard all my life, I wouldn’t be in this situation right now.

I stared into the mirror again, then lifted my eyes toward the ceil- ing.  “Please, God; if you are really there, give me a reason to change the meaning of these letters.”

It wasn’t a prayer. It was a challenge.