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I recently was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak with country singer/songwriter, author, advocate, philanthropist, and all around incredible human being, Jimmy Wayne. I learned a lot about Jimmy during our time together, including how he became involved with country music, the work he does to raise awareness of important issues, and the fact that he will never come visit me in South Florida (thanks to alligators and the “Stand Your Ground” law). Despite my disdain about the fact that he won’t be jet-setting my way in the foreseeable future, I feel like my conversation with Jimmy was eye-opening and life-changing. It is my honor and an incredible privilege to share with all of you my interview with Mr. Jimmy Wayne!
It’s been a tragic twenty-four hours for the country music community after learning about the passing of singer Mindy McCready. The “Ten Thousand Angels” artist was found dead from an apparent suicide last night in Arkansas. Mindy was 37 years old and leaves behind a six year old and a nine-year old son.
See what some of country’s brightest stars had to share about the sad news:
Oak Ridge Boys: We sang “Farther Along” last night in honor of Mindy McCready. One day we will know!!!!!
John Rich: Very sad to hear about Mindy McCready. When I was in Lonestar she was our label mate and we were friends. A tragic end to a talented life.
Jana Kramer: So sad to hear about the loss of Mindy. What an insanely talented woman.
Michelle Wright: As you may know Mindy McCready has passed on. She was a young promising country music artist in the mid ’90′s but faced a number of challenges and I’m so sad that she lost the battle with addiction and mental illness which can also cause depression. I’ve been sober now for several years and I know how hard it can be sometimes. RIP Mindy.
Jimmy Wayne: RIP @mindymccready We met 14 years ago @ Acuff & Rose. Who’d thought 14 years later on this day…. #why
Jason Blaine: Sad to hear about the passing of Mindy McCready. Thoughts & prayers for her young children. Tragic situation.
Carrie Underwood: I grew up listening to Mindy McCready… so sad for her family tonight. Many prayers are going out to them…
See more reactions below:
Country artist Jimmy Wayne played a special concert Monday night for a cause very close to his heart. He held a private concert for foster kids in Tennessee on Monday night. It’s a cause that he has been going over and above in support after walking across the United States to help raise awareness for kids growing up out of the foster system and becoming homeless.
It was thanks in part to Jimmy’s efforts that the state of Tennessee recently passed legislation raising the age of foster kids able to stay in foster care to 21. Jimmy fully believes that it is a positive step into the right direction:
“This bill is extremely important in favor of these foster kids, who deserve it, who deserve those extra three years.”
See Jimmy’s interview with News Channel 5 on his private concert and his thoughts on this new bill, which is expected to be signed into law this week:
Jimmy Wayne fans should make sure to tune-in to Monday Night Football on ESPN on Monday, November 28th. He’ll be performing the national anthem before the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants game at 8:30 pm EST.
Jimmy Wayne’s campaign to help homeless youth is still going strong today. He’s announced plans to film a documentary on “Meet Me Halfway,” a 1700 mile trek he walked to raise awareness on the situation for homeless teenagers in the United States through most of 2010. The cause is something near-and-dear to Wayne’s heart, as he was once in the same situation as the kids he was walking across the USA for.
Taste of Country is reporting that he has partnered up with i25productions, inc to revisit his journey that started in Nashville, Tennessee and ended on foot in Arizona. He’s credit the walk in the past as something that’s changed his life for the better, which included random fans on Twitter joining him as he made his way through their towns and cities on foot. Wayne had spent many nights sleeping on the ground, to try to raise awareness and understanding of what homeless teenagers face every night they live out on the streets.
“We’ll be doing some extensive filming,” Wayne tells Taste of Country. “This documentary is no joke. It’s not like me taking my HD camera and capturing stuff from the walk. We’re going to use my footage as well, but this is a very professional documentary. It’s going to be a recap of my walk, but what i25productions is going to do is all get in the car and drive the route I walked, stopping at certain landmarks, staying in places I stayed and interviewing people I met along the way … just documenting all of it.”
The film will be filmed by the California-based company, who have added on an Emmy-winning cinematographer to the cast. Jonathan West, known for his work with “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “C.S.I.” will work as director of photography. There is no word yet on when the project is expected to be completed or when fans can be able to finally watch the documentary. Wayne is planning on releasing an album inspired by his experiences during this charity walk later this year.
The lineup for LP Field during CMA Fest keeps getting better. In addition to performances by Blake Shelton, Chris Young, Taylor Swift and others, the CMA have added artists to perform acoustic sets in between the other acts. These artists range from newcomer Casey James to Tracy Lawrence. Find out who’s playing what days after the jump.