Jimmy WayneJimmy Wayne's challenging life as a youngster has been well-documented by the singer himself, even the most difficult circumstances he faced -- and the things he sometimes had to do just to survive. Abandoned by his father and almost shot by his step-father, Jimmy endured homelessness, drug abuse and jail. The path to country stardom is something out of a country song, or even a movie, and it's something of a miracle that the soft-spoken entertainer lived to tell it all.

"I think it comes from that fire inside, from when I was a kid," Jimmy tells the Palm Beach Pulse. "To go from living on the street to a stage performing for 20,000 people -- there's got to be more than just your own inner strength. Some days I want to just lay down and not get up ... but there's something that makes me get up."

Maybe it's what Jimmy has posted on his refrigerator -- words by Horace Greeley: "Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character."

Jimmy confesses that there are things that upset him because of what he went through -- and he strives to get his message out, especially to young people.

"I do get angry. People disrespecting old people and not caring about their kids -- that makes me mad, because that's our future. That's not just affecting you, that's affecting everybody," he says. "I've been known to say stuff that shocks people, but I just think if you're out there talking to these kids, you've got to get on their level. They relate to the truth. They know when you're BS-ing them. They're going to say, 'You don't know what you're taking about. You don't live the life that I live.'"

Until they find out the truth, that is.

"I tell them I've lived on the street and I've experienced these things and I know what it's like. That's where I came from," he reflects. "When I was a kid, I was walking in people's houses and taking extra food off their table. I don't have to go after the big prize, I'm happy to take what they left and make something of it. I'm always looking for the small stuff that people didn't bother pick up."

Jimmy's album, 'Sara Smile' is set for release Nov. 23.