The family of late CINDERELLA guitarist Jeff LaBar has issued a statement regarding his passing.
Jeff was found dead by his wife, Debinique Salazar-LaBar, on Wednesday, July 14 inside his apartment in Nashville. He was 58 years old.
Earlier today, the publicist for LaBar's family released the following statement: "Jeffrey Philip La Bar of Nashville, Tennessee passed away peacefully at the age of 58 on July 14, 2021. He was born on March 18, 1963 in Darby, Pennsylvania to June and Bob La Bar. Jeff grew up in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania and went to Upper Darby High School.
"Inspired by his brother Jack to pick up the guitar, he joined the local rock band CINDERELLA, who rose to prominence in the late 1980s with a string of platinum-selling albums. The group toured the world and had numerous charting songs and videos on MTV. CINDERELLA had an exceptionally strong fanbase in Japan, which was particularly special to Jeff as that's where his mother June was born and raised. He would always take her and their family in Japan to the band's shows there, a life highlight for both mother and son. As Jeff got older, a love of music shifted to a passion for the culinary arts, with his cooking inspired by June's Japanese heritage. He would reinterpret dishes that were standards in the La Bar household and add a unique flair.
"Following a move to Nashville in 2004, Jeff quickly surrounded himself with a community of dear friends who he loved to host and cook for at his home there. He never forgot his Delco roots though and stayed close with all those he grew up with in the region. While he became a bit of a fan of the Tennessee Titans when he moved to Nashville, Jeff's number one sports franchises were in his hometown, number one being the Philadelphia Eagles, as he never missed the team's games and would always text his dad Bob during them. He would always make time to talk to his mom for hours every Sunday on the phone, reminiscing and listening to stories about June's days growing up in Japan. He planned on moving back to Delco as his parents got older, and his mother was excited to have him return with his cooking.
"Jeff inspired many of his friends and family to get into music, notably his son and pride and joy, Sebastian. He was eternally proud of the man and musician his son became and looked forward to working on a music project with him. Sebastian visited his father in Nashville often and loved playing music with Jeff and hearing about adventures from the old days when he was on the road. An animal lover, Jeff rescued cats, spent time taking care of his fish and adored his cat Loki.
"In addition to Sebastian, Jeff is survived by his wife and best friend Debinique, with whom he created an internet radio show 'Late Night with the La Bars', his parents Bob and June, brothers Jack (Alice) and David (Victoria),sister Diane (Jason),sister-in-law Lisa and many nieces and nephews. Jeff was like a second father to his siblings Diane and David growing up. Although he had many admirers, Jeff was an even bigger fan of his family and friends, seeing the absolute best in everyone he met. Rarely was there a picture of Jeff without a smile on his face. Jeff was an incredibly loving human being and will be missed beyond measure. Immediate arrangements are private and a celebration of Jeff's life is being planned for close friends and family.
"In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Grammy's MusiCares financial and addiction recovery assistance program."
LaBar joined CINDERELLA in time to record the band's debut album, 1986's "Night Songs", which peaked at position No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart and was eventually certified triple platinum. It included CINDERELLA's biggest hit, "Nobody's Fool", which reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. CINDERELLA's second album, 1988's "Long Cold Winter", was also certified triple platinum. The band's third LP, 1990's "Heartbreak Station", went platinum before the rise of the grunge movement effectively killed glam and hair metal, resulting in drastically lower sales for the band's final release, 1994's "Still Climbing".
LaBar released a solo album, "One For The Road", in 2014.
Although CINDERELLA hadn't released a new studio album since "Still Climbing", the band started playing sporadic shows again in 2010 but had been largely inactive for the last few years while frontman Tom Keifer focused on his solo career.