Cinderella honed their talents in the clubs in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After developing a huge local following, Cinderella caught the eye of Mercury/Polygram recording artist Jon Bon Jovi, who turned the record label on to Cinderella and a record contract was soon signed.
With a record contract in hand, Cinderella released their first album, Night Songs in 1986. Cinderella toured extensively in support of the album, including a time spent as the opening act for Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet Tour. The relentless touring, combined with the singles "Nobody's Fool", "Shake Me", and "Somebody Save Me" brought Cinderella worldwide attention.
Following the growth of their fan base, Cinderella returned to the studio for 1988's follow-up album, Long Cold Winter. The album featured a bluesier sound that was unmistakeably Cinderella and its stength allowed the band to mount their first headlining tour. The freedom of headlining allowed Cinderella to perform longer sets and include more production elements in the show, such as snow falling during the song "Long Cold Winter" and Tom being lowered on to the stage from the light riggings playing a white grand piano for the song "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)".
As the hard rock genre began to become over-saturated with "the next big band", Cinderella did not rest on their laurels and success, unlike many bands. They proceeded to the studio to record a their third album. The result was 1990's masterpiece, Heartbreak Station. The album featured an increased use of acoutic instruments, with an even stronger blues influence than previous efforts. Cinderella toured in support of the album, including a stint with David Lee Roth, but the musical climate of the early nineties was beginning to change to the "Seattle Sound". MTV support for Cinderella videos began to decline, even though the station had been a major supporter of the band only a year earlier.
As the new sound in rock was taking hold, Cinderella did not release a new studio album, but did release a six song live album in Japan titled Live Train to Heartbreak Station. Additionally, the band had the song "Hot and Bothered" included on the Wayne's World soundtrack, which was the last song to feature Fred Coury on drums before his departure to form the band Arcade with Stephen Pearcy, the lead singer of Ratt. Even in the face of the grunge movement, Cinderella began work on a new album with a new drummer, Kevin Valentine.
Not wanting to avoid spending too much time away from the record buying public, Cinderella released their fourth studio album, Still Climbing, in 1994. The album received good reviews and some radio airplay, but any support from MTV for Cinderella videos was gone. Cinderella toured smaller clubs in support of the album, but unfortunately the album was not as big of a success as previous albums. A result of the change in musical attitudes was a growing lack of support from the band's record label.
For a couple of years, little was heard from Cinderella, but in 1997 the resurgence of "80's Rock" had begun. Mercury/Polygram records released a Cinderella greatest hits album, Once Upon A..., which included a previously unreleased song, "War Stories", and a rare cover of the Janis Joplin song "Move Over". The return of Fred Coury to the band completed the return of Cinderella.
By 1998, Cinderella was back on the road with their Unfinished Business Tour and had a new full length live album appropriately titled Live. The band toured throughout the U.S. during the year, but the biggest news of the year was that Cinderella was signed by Potrait Records, the new Sony music label created by veteran rock-genius John Kalodner, who is credited with resurrecting Aerosmith's career. A second greatest hits album was also released in 1998 in the United Kingdom, titled Bad Attitude 1986-1994.
Coming off a great tour and the new record contract, Cinderella released another new live album in 1999 called Live at the Key Club, which was recorded in Hollywood, California during the Unfinished Business tour.
Around 1999, the band was signed by John Kalodner to Sony Records. However, the band was dropped by the label before a new album could be released, plunging the band into three years of litigation. Cinderella toured again in 2000 and 2002.
Cinderella headlined the VH1 Classic Rock Never Stops 2005 summer tour. Also in 2005, Cinderella toured with FireHouse, RATT, and Quiet Riot. Mercury Records released the compilation Rocked, Wired & Bluesed: The Greatest Hits on CD and DVD.
In 2006 Cinderella toured with Poison. Both bands celebrated the 20th anniversary of their debut albums, Night Songs and Look What the Cat Dragged In. Cinderella planned to tour in 2008 with Warrant, Lynch Mob, and Lynam, but on June 13 that year, Tim Heyne, the band's manager, said in a press release: “It is with unbelievably deep regret that I must announce that Cinderella's Tom Keifer's left vocal cord has hemorrhaged, thereby making it impossible for him to sing in the immediate future.” Lebar was interviewed by Ultimate-Guitar and stated that Cinderella would love to make a new record but there were obstacles holding the group back. They still were not signed to a record label after Sony dropped the band in 2000. Lebar also stated that he is busy with his new band, Freakshow, which features Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot, and Eric is busy with Naked Beggars.
A message posted to the Cinderella message board in spring of 2009 stated that Keifer's voice has returned to normal. Promoters from the 2009 Rock Gone Wild Festival confirmed that the band was scheduled to perform at two festivals in late summer or early fall of 2009.
2010 to present
Cinderella confirmed on their message board that they would be touring in 2010 with two warm up dates already confirmed. It was announced on February 22 that Cinderella will be a part of Rocklahoma 2010 in Pryor Oklahoma and Sweden Rock Festival 2010. On February 26, 2010, it was announced that Cinderella will be the headliner of the MSC Poesia sailing from Fort Lauderdale on November 11, 2010. Cinderella are confirmed for the Main Stage at the Download Festival, at Donington Park, England in June 2010. July 2010 sees Cinderella taking the stage to open for Bret Michaels, during the Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing, MI, with an original line-up of stars including Tom Keifer, Eric Brittingham, Jeff LaBar and Fred Coury. They will the follow that with 14 dates in the US supporting Scorpions on their Get Your Sting and Blackout farewell tour.
Cinderella played at the Download festival in the UK in June 2010,the Rock Jam near Grand Junction, Colorado, Friday, August 27, and also the Oregon State Fair on September 4, 2010. In November 2010 Cinderella joined a variety of other hard rock acts on the cruise entitled "ShipRocked".
In 2011 Cinderella undertook a 25th anniversary world tour. 20 shows were confirmed from April through July. During the tour, they successfully headlined the first edition of the "Shout It Out Loud" Festival in Germany.