Cancer Diagnoses Turns Cinder Shine Back to Her First Love: Songwriting

After a 30-year detour as a fitness expert and author, Singer-Songwriter Cinder Shine’s terminal cancer diagnosis presented an opportunity to make music creation a source of healing. Cinder Shine found a community of like-minded artists who want to inspire.

Cancer Diagnoses Turns Cinder Shine Back to Her First Love: Songwriting
Napa, CA, January 31, 2023 --( It was 2019 and Cinder Ernst remembers the day all too well. An avid motorcyclist, she was having severe pain trying to get off her bike. A trip to the hospital confirmed that she had metastatic bone cancer.

“I was devastated. And then, there was this overwhelming sense of calm,” she says. “I knew what I had to do, and that was get back to my first love: writing songs.”

And, that’s exactly what she did. Along the way, she discovered a community of like minded musicians, producers and songwriters to collaborate with, share ideas, and most importantly, share an unending belief in goodness and that humor can get us through our darkest times.

Cinder Shine, as she came to be known for her enduring optimism in the face of a terminal illness, quickly realized that music and community were going to keep her going through it all, and she was determined to make as much of it as possible.

Having been in a remission period after grueling treatments, her songs landed on ABC, Netflix, Bravo and more. She works with a number of producers across the country, becoming a sought after collaborator who brings out the best in everyone.

Then, in the fall of 2022, Cinder learned that the cancer had moved and metastasized in her face and skull. This meant more chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In response to the possibility that this treatment might hinder her singing voice, she wrote, produced and released an LP called “Trace the Sky.”

Through a fundraiser that raised more than $13,000 in a few days, Cinder and her community of musicians made this collection of songs.

“Trace the Sky” is inspired by Cinder’s courageous life battles. The recording was put together in a matter of days between Cinder’s chemo sessions and the start of radiation. The music is packed full of optimistic heart and soul, the kind that reaffirms there’s always a diamond lining to the world.

“These songs are utterly tear-jerking and gorgeous, and the world absolutely needs to hear them,” said producer John Clinebell, who organized the GofundMe and helped arrange production.

They gathered in the Los Angeles studio of producer Billy Lefler (Ingrid Michaelson, Dashboard Confessional) to bring the music to life. Music friends came from as far as Iowa and Nashville to support Cinder and the recording. You can hear the voices of many who gathered as they sing these anthemic uplifting songs of hope and joy.

“The outpouring of love and support has been incredible and such a reflection of the love and support Cinder gives to so many of us,” says vocalist Sonnet Simmons. “I found myself singing these songs to my children. This is what I want for them.”

Now, Cinder is asking people to donate to the non-profit Cancer Can Rock to receive their copy of the LP. Cancer Can Rock helps musicians with cancer be a star for the day while they make a professional recording in a fully equipped recording studio because “music lasts forever.”

Go to to donate and get your digital download. This collection of songs will be available as a collection for a limited time.

“I’m inspired everyday by these fantastic musicians that are in my community,” Cinder says. “I just want to give back to all of them and show people that your life doesn’t have to stop when you have a scary diagnosis. Sometimes it’s just the thing you need to get you living your life again, one day— one moment at a time.”

Cinder Shine is known for her smile and joie de vivre. That’s how she got her name. Cinder inspires and supports her fellow creatives with all her heart. Visionary wisdom fuels her songwriting. Raw talent and experience make her a compelling artist. With an unending belief in goodness and a great sense of humor, Cinder is not only a great collaborator, but more important, a loving friend.
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