NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A country star who has been a champion for foster care kids is telling his own troubling story.
Jimmy Wayne's autobiography 'Walk to Beautiful' is now a New York Times Best Seller.
The singer/song writer, who gained fame with hit songs like 'Do You Believe Me Now,' and 'Stay Gone,' is hoping the book will inspire kids in the foster care system and help others identify children in trouble.
"Every day it was drug addicts, crime, prostitution, violence in the house," Wayne said of his childhood.
The former foster kid, though, says his story pales in comparison to what the majority of young people in the system are going through right now.
"I'm just really bringing it to the forefront. That, hey, this is real. This is real life. This is reality and it's happening right here and in your front yards," said Wayne.
In 2010, Wayne walked halfway across America to raise awareness about young people in foster care who age out of the system and end up homeless, and two years ago helped convince Tennessee lawmakers to extend foster care services to age 21.
He's hoping his autobiography will serve as a survival manual for foster kids and convince more people to get involved.
"I think it will give every kid in the system hope. Let them know, hey, somebody who grew up in the system just like they are growing up in the system made it," said Wayne.
Wayne has worked closely with Youth Villages in Memphis. The organization helps troubled kids.
He's hoping his story will also encourage more people to adopt children and remove them permanently from the foster care system.
Wayne also wrote a fictional book called 'Paper Angels" about the Salvation Army's Angel Tree Program. It was made into a movie and airing this month on UPtv.