Shae Wilbur: Keeping it Real

by Jennifer Taylor in Leading Hearts Magazine

If God has something for you, that’s something you have regardless of your abilities


These days, however, the multi-talented star is reconnecting with her musical roots and reminding the world of her stardom as a singer/songwriter.

As the daughter of musician Joel Chernoff, Shae grew up around music and remembers being on stage with her father as young as 8 years old. “Music was part of my life from the beginning.

My dad was a worship pastor and musician.

I have early memories of him playing the piano in our living room and me sitting next to him while he was playing these songs. So, music was really part of my upbringing in a pretty big way,” she said.“I always knew music was something I was probably going to be called to do.

I didn’t know if music was going to be the only thing or part of it, but I grew up with the knowledge that music would be a big part of my life in one way or another. It has turned out to be a big thing.”

Her passion for music eventually led her to audition for American Idol, where she was a contestant on season eight. The show opened the doors for her musically and also as a casting producer.“I have found so much joy with going to work with American Idol and helping people achieve their dreams.

I can relate to them and connect with them being in the spotlight and knowing all the struggles from being on the show myself. I know what it feels like,” she said. “It has really been fulfilling for me and I truly love it. I’ve been able to watch them come from the middle of nowhere in Louisiana, playing in little restaurants, and suddenly, they’re on the Idol stage where they’re able to become a household name eventually. It’s pretty cool.”

In 2019, Shae released her new Unmovable EP and invited her fellow season eight contestant Danny Gokey to sing on the title track with her. “Unmovable was written out of a really hard time that my husband and I were going through here in LA. It was kind of one of those seasons where we were asking, ‘God, why did You move us here? Did You move us here? Did we hear You wrong? What are we doing here?’

It was a very low point for us.

We were ready to pack up our apartment, move back to Florida, and go about our lives. It was really tough,” she said.“We felt like we were getting attacked from all angles. A lot of times it’s hard to find the words to say to yourself to flip that switch in your mind so you can focus on God and what He is really saying to you and finding that strength.

Sometimes you have to speak out those words or go to the Bible and find those verses that give you the strength to take the next step and wake up the next day.

The song was birthed out of that whole sentiment.“Lyrically, I was writing what I was needing to say to myself at that moment.

I pray the song will help people the same way it helped me to refocus my heart and mind on God and remember that everything is a season. Thank God!”

Since Shae and her husband, Joel, moved out to LA they have clung to the words of Isaiah 22:22,

“And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open” (ESV).

Shae noted there are many doors that close, and that can lead into a spiraling questioning of everything.

She loves the verse because it’s a reminder that God will open or shut the doors according to His will and regardless of her or man’s ideal.“I think in this industry you may be constantly putting yourself out there and auditioning. This girl got the job, and I didn’t get the job. Why didn’t I get the job? Did I not do good enough? Was I not myself enough?

You tend to think it’s all about you,” she said. “So, if God opens those doors for me, regardless of how I did or didn’t do, it would have been mine. And I think that applies for anything in this world.

If God has something for you, that’s something you have regardless of your abilities.”

Shae encourages everyone to go after what God has called them to do.

“The Bible says He will give us the desires of our heart if we delight ourselves in Him, if we seek Him first. So, I would say go after your dreams and do what you can,” she said.“I would encourage people, go after your dreams wherever you are, whatever city you are in. If you want to start doing music, start doing music.

Start playing around where you are.

Start posting on YouTube. Start using your Instagram to build a following.

If you want to do TV, start trying to get into your local market.

Don’t wait for other people to come alongside you and give you opportunities. You have to create opportunities for yourself.

Find out more at

That’s what I’ve had to do in my career, along with a lot of prayer and guidance from God, as well as help from my husband and his wisdom. Go after it and do it wherever you are.”

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