Sherrie Veronica Krenn (born 28 August 1970, Sydney, Australia), known professionally as Sherrié Austin, is an Australian actress and singer. Active as a singer since her teenage years, Austin initially recorded as one half of the duo Colourhaus, which also featured Phil Radford. After leaving Colourhaus, she recorded one album in her native Australia before moving to the United States in pursuit of a singing career. There, she recorded four studio albums, and charted several singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. Her highest-charting single was the No. 18 "Streets of Heaven" in 2003. She has sold over 430,000 albums and 288,000 singles in her career, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Her fifth album was released on 15 November 2011.
Austin got her start in music opening for Johnny Cash in Australia at the age of 14. She later moved to the United States where she took up acting. She is most known in the United States for playing the role of Pippa McKenna on The Facts of Life in 1987. In 1991 she appeared as "Lady Penelope" on episode No. 20 of the first season of the TV comedy series Fresh Prince of Bel Air starring Will Smith. In the 1990s, she started a singing career, teaming up with Phil Radford in 1992 to form a duo called Colourhaus, which released one album, Water to the Soul.
Afterward, Austin moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a career in country music. Her first solo contract was with Arista Nashville, with the album Words being released in 1997. It produced singles in "Lucky in Love", "One Solitary Tear", "Put Your Heart into It", and "Innocent Man". "Lucky in Love" and "Put Your Heart into It" both reached Top 40 on the country charts with a peak of No. 34 each.
Her second and final album for Arista was 1999's Love in the Real World, led off by the No. 29 "Never Been Kissed", which was followed by "Little Bird." After RCA acquired Arista Records, Austin's publishing company, Reynsong Publishing, formed Wrensong Entertainment and signed to Madacy Entertainment for her next album, Followin' a Feelin', which produced another single in its lead-off single, a cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene".
Later, she switched to the independent Broken Bow Records label. Her fourth album of country music, titled Streets of Heaven, produced her biggest country hit in its title track. Following this single was "Son of a Preacher Man", a cover of the Dusty Springfield song, which was never included on an album.
Austin moved to New York City in 2005 and appeared in the New York Musical Theater Festival's production of Bonnie & Clyde. The New York Times commented that she was "a sultry young country music singer who plays the notorious criminal Bonnie Parker and does for this musical what Reba McEntire did for the 1999 revival of Annie Get Your Gun. That twang in her voice provides some much-needed authenticity in excellent pop-country numbers like "Ain't Goin' Back." And it's easy to tell by her hip-swiveling poses that this is a woman who knows how to hold a stage."
The following year, Austin performed in Ring Of Fire- The Johnny Cash Musical Show at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. She also performed in the production of Warrior, a musical about the American-Indian athlete Jim Thorpe, where CurtainUp.com described her as "outstanding." She returned to Nashville in 2006.
Return to Nashville:
Austin co-wrote Danielle Peck's 2007 single "Bad for Me", the title track to Blake Shelton's 2008 album Startin' Fires, George Strait's "Where Have I Been All My Life" off his 2009 album Twang, and Tim McGraw's duet, with wife Faith Hill, "Shotgun Rider" off his Let It Go album in 2007. Austin left Broken Bow in 2008.
She was named one of 2011's "25 Most Beautiful People" by Nashville Lifestyles Magazine.
In the summer of 2011, The Sundance Channel announced that Austin and her friend Shane Stevens would be on the second season of Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys, which was filmed in Nashville and features women and their gay best friends. The season started 18 November 2011.
Austin's most recent album, Circus Girl, her first in eight years, is described as a series of stories interpreted by a strong woman, about women, and for women, and Sherrié feels it's something her female fans have been clamoring for, for quite some time.
"The last few years I had been complaining about that fact that there weren't any females speaking to women above the age of 30, so I started thinking about how I was writing my songs and came up with the idea for "Friday Night Girls" ...I wanted to write a three minute song with every Sex and the City episode that had ever existed, so I did. I quickly noticed that the women in my audiences loved it and so I switched my songwriting focus for a while to concentrate on that audience, who are my peers, to speak to them," says Austin.
Circus Girl was released independently on 15 November 2011.