Jeff LaBar, the lead guitarist in Philadelphia glam metal band Cinderella, has died at age 58.
The news of LaBar’s passing was confirmed by his son Sebastian, who posted on Instagram: “My father, my hero, my idol, passed away today. I’m currently at a loss for words. I love you pop!” LaBar’s cause of death has not been made public at the time of writing.
Per Rolling Stone, LaBar’s bandmates in Cinderella have released a statement honouring the late guitarist, saying: “Heavy hearts cannot begin to describe the feeling of losing our brother Jeff. The bond between us over decades of creating music and touring the world is something that we as a band uniquely shared.”
“Those memories with Jeff will be forever alive in our hearts. It’s unimaginable that one of our band brothers has left us. We’re sending his wife Debinique, his son Sebastian, family, and friends our deepest condolences.
“Jeff’s memory and music will be with us forever. We all… band, family and management appreciate the overwhelming outpouring of love. Rest In Peace Jeff.”
Born in Darby, Pennsylvania in 1963, LaBar joined Cinderella in 1985, replacing original guitarist Michael Schermick shortly before the band signed to Mercury/Polygram Records. He performed on all four of the group’s studio albums, starting with their 1986 debut ‘Night Songs’. The band’s best-known song, the power ballad ‘Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)’, was released 1988 and on the tracklist of their second album ‘Long Cold Winter’.
Cinderella broke up shortly after the release of their 1994 album ‘Still Climbing’, following which LaBar would support himself by running a pizza shop with his brother, and working various construction jobs. The band reformed in 1996, releasing a greatest hits compilation titled ‘Once Upon A…’ that year, and a live album titled ‘Live At The Key Club’ in 1999.
Though ‘Still Climbing’ remains their final full-length offering, the band continued to tour regularly throughout the 2000s and early 2010s, including a prolific co-headline run with Poison in 2006. Cinderella would officially call it quits in 2017.
LaBar also played in the Naked Beggars alongside Cinderella bandmate Eric Brittingham. Before leaving the fold in 2007, he released two albums with the Naked Beggars: their 2003 self-titled debut, and ‘Spit It Out’ in 2005.
LaBar released his solo debut, ‘One For The Road’, in 2014, touring it with Sebastian and Cain.
Among those who have paid tribute to LaBar include his former bandmate Jasmine Cain, Slash, Stryper frontman Michael Sweet, and Jeff Soto. See those tributes below:
And here I am…posting something I was hoping to never have to post. My hero, supporter, and friend is gone. It caught me completely off guard today. I can't tell you what this guy meant to me. Long live, Jeff Labar. I miss him already. RIP pic.twitter.com/myHaCnR9LL
— Jasmine Cain (@jasminecainrock) July 15, 2021
I’m deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of Jeff LaBar. I had the honor of meeting Jeff multiple times when he would attend our shows in Nashville. He was always a gentleman & very kind. May God bless you Jeff & may God bless the LaBar family, friends & fans worldwide pic.twitter.com/QeR1va5rZT
— MichaelSweet Stryper (@michaelhsweet) July 15, 2021
RIP Jeff Labar – Cinderella
Only 58, gone way too soon!! pic.twitter.com/jt7gCqUpZs
— Jeff Scott Soto (@jeffscottsoto) July 15, 2021