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Bret Michaels is an American musician, actor, director, screenwriter, producer and reality television personality. He first gained fame as the lead vocalist of the glam metal band Poison. Besides his career as lead singer, he has several solo albums to his credit, as well as one chart single. He appeared in the VH1 reality show Rock of Love with Bret Michaels and its sequels, and as a judge on the talent show Nashville Star. He was the winning contestant on NBC’s reality show Celebrity Apprentice 3.
Michaels was born Bret Michael Sychak, to Wally and Marjorie Sychak, north of Pittsburgh in the city of Butler, Pennsylvania. He has two sisters, Michelle and Nicole. He claims that his parents had originally intended for him to have the middle name “Maverick”, after the title character in the popular James Garner TV Western series Maverick.He is of Carpatho-Rusyn descent.
At the age of six he fell ill, and during a three-week stay in the hospital, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
Michaels released a 30-minute DVD from (Time Life) in 2008 called Hard & Heavy Confidential featuring Bret Michaels which included acoustic versions of “All I Ever Needed”, “Driven”, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and “Something to Believe In”, it also included in depth interviews. The DVD was included in the Hard & Heavy cd/dvd collection from (Time Life) advertised on TV by Bret Michaels. The same 4 acoustic performances were also released on CD which was titled “Bret Michaels Acoustic Sessions.”
In March 2010, Michaels released a new single called “Nothing to Lose” from his upcoming new studio album, Custom Built. The song featured the guest vocals of Miley Cyrus. In April 2010, he released the second single “Lie to Me” and in May 2010 released the third single, “Wasted Time”. Michaels performed on the American Idol season 9 finale on May 26 against his doctor’s recommendation. Michaels also performed a duet of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” with Miley Cyrus on the June 18, 2010 episode Good Morning America.
On July 6, 2010, Michaels released his new album Custom Built, which along with its three singles, includes the song “Riding Against the Wind”, which is the theme song for his new reality TV series Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It. The album is Michaels highest charting solo album to date peaking at #1 on both the Top Independent Albums and Top Hard Rock Albums chart and also charting at #4 on the Top Rock Albums and #14 on the Billboard 200.
On August 4, 2010, Michaels appeared in the fifth season of America’s Got Talent and performed “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”, accompanying himself on acoustic folk guitar.
Despite not being released as a single, a music video was produced for “Riding Against the Wind” a song from Michaels’ latest album “Custom Built” that also doubles as the theme song for his new VH1 reality show Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It.
The music video was released on October 7, 2010, exclusively at Billboard’s and contains footage from the series, which officially premieres on VH1 on October 18, 2010.Michaels also released a music video for the cover of Sublime’s song “What I Got”, which is the fourth single from “Custom Built”. The music video is a special tribute to his fans and was released on Thanksgiving.
Michaels starred in the reality television dating competition series Rock of Love with Bret Michaels, the first season of which premiered in July 2007. Jes Rickleff was the winner of Season One. However, she announced during the October 2007 reunion show that she and Michaels were not right for each other and told runner-up Heather he was all hers and that he should have chosen Heather.
The first season was released on DVD in early 2008.The show’s second season premiered on January 13, 2008. On April 13, 2008, Michaels selected Ambre Lake as his “Rock of Love”. After the show the two maintained a relationship, but parted ways after just a few months due to personal commitments, they remain good friends.
A third season, Rock of Love Bus, premiered on January 4, 2009. which was a series high for VH1,Michaels chose Penthouse Pet Taya Parker as the winner. When asked about a fourth season of Rock of Love, Michaels said “Now they want me to come back for a fourth ‘Rock of Love.’ I feel that it should be something that changes up, but I still want that fun element. What you see is what you get with me.”