Sherrié Austin has been in the entertainment business since she was a teenager. At the age of fourteen, she opened for Johnny Cash in Australia. She moved to the United States and landed a role on The Facts of Life as “Pippa McKenna;” she also guest-starred in The Prince of Bel-Air. Austin signed her first record deal shortly after moving to Nashville; her solo debut album, Words, was released in 1997. “Lucky in Love,” “One Solitary Tear” and “Put Your Heart Into It” all charted within the Top 40. Love in the Real World followed in 1999, which included “Never Been Kissed” and “Little Bird.” After signing a new record deal, Austin’s next album, Streets of Heaven, was released in 2003. The heart-wrenching title track is her highest charting single to date and continues to resonate with fans.In 2005, Austin headed to Broadway and was cast in both Bonnie & Clyde and Ring of Fire – the Johnny Cash Musical Show. Back in Nashville, she continued to earn cuts from her country music peers: Trace Adkins (“If I Were a Woman,” featuring Blake Shelton), Tim McGraw (“Shotgun Rider,” featuring Faith Hill), Danielle Peck (“Bad For Me”), Blake Shelton (“Startin’ Fires”) and George Strait (“Where Have I Been All My Life”), among others. In 2011, she returned to television as a main cast member in Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys.

 

Music ultimately brought Austin back to Nashville and she began work on her latest album, Circus Girl. Since its release, Austin has noticed the gravitation toward “Tryin’ To Be Me,” the second track on Circus Girl. “Sometimes music or a song can speak to a heart in a way that the spoken word can’t do. That’s what I attempted to do with both ‘Tryin’ To Be Me’ and another song I wrote called ‘Hey Bully,’ Austin shares. “I believe there would be no bullying or suicides if we accepted each other and ourselves just the way we are – warts and all, the ugly, the beautiful, the crazy and the hurt. Then, maybe all those monsters under our beds wouldn’t be quite so scary because we would know that we weren't the only ones afraid and vulnerable at times.”

 

Austin has seen firsthand the emotional undoing bullying can have on a loved one. “As a writer, I always hope that my songs move people, whether it’s to draw a laugh, have a good cry or is something fun to sing along to,” she says. “But, there is one person in particular who I would have loved to have heard ‘Tryin’ To Be Me’ and ‘Hey Bully,’ and that’s my Uncle Pat. He committed suicide a few years ago. He was my biggest fan and had a smile and a heart that could light up the room. He ran away from bullies, his past and himself his whole life. He would have understood and loved these songs.” “I read somewhere once, ‘Treat everyone as if they are in pain,” she shares. “‘Tryin’ To Be Me’ is about self-forgiveness and self-compassion. ‘Hey Bully’ shows that the bully and the bullied are just both sides of the same coin.” With the increasing popularity of social networks comes the adverse effect of cyber-bullying becoming exponentially more prominent. “It baffles me how in a world where everyone is only a tweet away that we should be so disconnected from each other, that we could be so lonely.”Austin hopes that “Tryin’ To Be Me” and “Hey Bully” will bring encouragement to anyone being subjected to bullying and fear not having anyone to turn to. “My goal is not only to raise awareness for this senseless epidemic that is taking the lives of more and more people every day.”

 

Connect with Sherrie Austin on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SherrieAustinMusic and on Twitter @SherrieMusic.