Streets of Heaven
Sherrie Austin is an Australian country music singer and songwriter and actress. First becoming known in the United Stated with her role of Pippa McKenna on the NBC series “The Facts of Life” (1987-1988), she re-launched a music career in the early 1990s as a member of the duo Colorhaus, which produced an album and one hit on the Billboard Hot 100. After she left the group, Austin tried her hand as a soloist in Nashville. She released her first two albums, “Words” (1997) and “Love in the Real World” (1999) through Arista Nashville and the third, “Followin' a Feelin'” (2001) and fourth, “Streets of Heaven” (2003), through Madacy Entertainment and Broken Bow, respectively. She has charted ten singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including “Streets of Heaven” (#18), “Never Been Kissed” (#29), “Lucky in Love” (#34) and “Put Your Heart into It” (#34).
Childhood and Family:
Sherrie Austin was born Sherrie Veronica Krenn on August 28, 1970, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. While living in Hollywood, she took keyboard and vocal lessons with Linda Ronstadt's vocal coach Robert Edwards.
The Facts of Life
Sherrie Austin began her music career at age 14 when she served as an opening act for Johnny Cash's Australian tour in 1985. This led to an invitation to Nashville by the Australian Country Music Association, which she declined after her parents felt she was too young.
Austin later relocated to the United States. While living in Hollywood, a then-17 year old Austin got her big break in acting when she landed the role of Pippa McKenna on the NBC sitcom “The Facts of Life,” starring Charlotte Rae. Billed as Sherrie Krenn, she played the role from 1987 to 1988. In 1989, she played the supporting role of Jacqueline on the short film “Call from Space,” starring Brandon Stirling Baker, Richard Brestoff and J.P. Burns.
Austin continued acting in the early 1990s and made her TV film debut in the NBC drama “Exile” (1990). Costars of the film included Christopher Daniel Barnes, Kate Benton and Scott Bloom. It was followed by the role of Indy Fargo in the Australian TV film “Shadows of the Heart,” opposite Josephine Byrnes, Jerome Ehlers and Marcus Graham, and a guest stint in an episode of the Fox comedy series “Open House” (both 1990). The following year, she made her feature debut as Cari in “An American Summer,” a film directed and written by James Slocum that starred Chance Boyer, Tony Crane and Brian Austin Green. She was then seen as Lady Penelope in an episode of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” called “Nice Lady” in 1991.
Austin put acting on the backburner when she decided to re-launch her singing career in the early 1990s. In 1992, she joined forces with Phil Radford to form a duo called Colorhaus. The duo released an album called “Water to the Soul” on April 21, 1992, through Interscope Records. The album produced a Top 50 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with the single “Innocent Child.” Afterward, she quit and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a career in country music. In Nashville she met her co-writer/co-producer Will Rambeaux.
Austin signed with Arista Nashville and released her solo debut album, “Words,” on July 15, 1997. Produced by Rambeaux, the album peaked at No. 41 on the Billboard Top Country Albums and No. 35 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers. It yielded four charting singles on the Hot Country Songs chart with “Luck in Love,” “One Solitary Tear,” “Put Your Heart Into It” and “Innocent Man.” Austin co-wrote all the songs on the album with Rambeaux.
Her second album, “Love in the Real World” (produced by Rambeaux and Ed Seay), followed on August 10, 1999. The album rose to No. 14 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and made the Top 150 on the Billboard 200. The first single, “Never Been Kissed,” went to No. 29 on the Hot Country Songs, No. 89 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 31 on the Canadian Country chart. The second single, “Little Bird,” peaked at No. 49 on the Hot Country Songs and No. 43 on the Canadian Country chart. “Love in the Real World” marked her last album for Arista Records before the studio was acquired by RCA.
Austin released her third studio album, “Followin' a Feelin',” on March 20, 2001, through Madacy Entertainment. The album peaked at No. 43 on the Billboard Top Country Albums and No. 38 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums charts. She scored a No. 55 country hit single with her version of Dolly Parton's hit “Jolene.”
Austin shifted to the independent Broken Bow Records label for her next album, “Streets of Heaven,” which was released on August 12, 2003. The album was produced by Rambeaux, Jeff Balding and Dann Huff and peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard Top Country Albums, No. 144 on the Billboard 200, No. 6 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums and No. 3 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers. In 2004, Austin released a single titled “Son of a Preacher Man,” a cover of the Dusty Springfield song. The song went to No. 46 on the Hot Country Songs chart.
In 2007, Austin co-wrote the Danielle Peck single “Bad for Me.” She also co-wrote 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 “Twan,” and Tim McGraw's duet (with Faith Hill) “Shotgun Rider” from his 2007 album “Let It Go.” She then left Broken Bow in 2008.