Local music community responds to hardcore singer who faked cancer for money

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By now you’ve probably about the girl who faked stage three cervical cancer to get money from friends and family. You probably also heard that she fronted a hardcore band in Pennsylvania. What you probably don’t know is that she is from my hometown! Normally, Erie make the news for the amount of snow we get, but now it’s for fraud.

I personally don’t know Hali Etie, but I’ve seen a lot of people who are or were in the local music scene commenting about it. I thought instead of posting what you can easily find on another music news website, that people would be interested in knowing how musicians and fans in that music scene (which has produced such notable musicians as Patrick Monahan of Train, Chris Vrenna of Nine Inch Nails and War of Ages) feel about this.

Hali Etie had fronted the Erie based hardcore band Counterfeit, who had actually broken up in April, but got back together for the benefit show to support Etie. The flyer for the event can be found below:

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Derek Ski, who was the drummer for Counterfeit and put together the show, explained the reasoning behind the benefit happening in the first place:

“I had a friend’s band from Boston coming out to do a four-day tour with my other band, and we needed a first date. Cleveland fell through and then she subsequently announced she had cancer, so I set up the show to help her out and have an opening show for the other guys.”

Archway, a band from the Jamestown and Meadville areas of Pennsylvania just simply posted on their Facebook, “Hey, don’t fake cancer.”

Rochester band Lights Out Paris, who were supposed to play the show but ended having van problems which caused them to miss it, has a very strong opinion about helping out Etie. “This is exactly what’s wrong with the music scene. To anyone that’s ever seen us live, they will tell you, we constantly preach about money-hungry fucks that want to take your money in this industry and this just goes to show why. I’m ashamed that I ever even thought to myself, ‘This girl is bad-ass fuck. A girl fronting a hardcore band that’s rad as hell, and beating cancer, talk about an inspiration.’ We’ve all been in bigger bands and find out our heroes are not always what they’re cracked up to be. So when you find heroes in smaller places, and find out truths like this, it just makes you believe heroes don’t exist at all. I know people who would kill to have their parents back or loved ones back, who have passed from cancer. I see GoFundMes all the time for people struggling to pay for chemo, who really actually mean it. She didn’t just take away from the music scene, she insulted cancer survivors and people who have lost loved ones to cancer everywhere. She’s a terrible girl and she’s dug her grave, I just hope someone makes her lie in it.”

Nathaniel Heinrich, who appears to be a regular that Erie shows according to his Facebook, posted on the benefit show’s event page, “If I knew then what I know now.”

There’s a picture going around containing what is said to be her phone number and encouraging people to call her and tell her “what a piece of shit” she is. I will not include the number, but you can see the top half of the image below:

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Medjugorje, a band from Massachusetts who played the benefit in Erie, posted the photo above saying, “We do NOT support people like THIS.” The band’s guitarist, Henry Mitchell, commented on the post saying, “I want my donation back!”

There were bracelets handmade for the benefit saying “TEAM HALI.”

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So where does Hardcore Cares come into play, considering they’re the ones who brought the fraud to the surface for the internet world to grab onto? They threw a show for Etie on August 15 in Detroit, Michigan, which included a BBQ and bake sale. The flyer for the show can be found below:

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The organization had known Etie for a while, and according to Ski, they had set up the show. “We [Counterfeit] had played a lot of shows they set up and she was tight with the owners of that organization. So they would have wanted to help her out too, as she was like a sister to them.”

In HCC’s statement that was posted on Facebook, they said, “About a week prior to the benefit show we started to see cracks in the story. Things just were not adding up. But she still had the support of key people close to her, so based on that and her presence in HCC we motored on,” via Lambgoat.

Ski says that he never really questioned the story. “I never thought anyone I called a friend would stoop that low.”