Bret Michaels Biography
Claim to Fame: Lead singer of Poison
DOB: March 15, 1963
Diabetes Type: 1
Quote: "I would play music whether I made it in the industry or not."
Singer, songwriter, producer, director, actor - diabetes may have caused a few hiccups along the road of life but it has not stopped Bret Michaels from becoming one of the most recognized names in American rock.
As front man for the legendary rock band Poison, Michaels has sold 25 million records and scored 15 chartbusting Top 40 singles including Talk Dirty to Me, Something to Believe In, Nothing But a Good Time, and the timeless #1 smash hit Every Rose Has its Thorn. And in the new millennium, Poison's music has been featured in such big screen flicks as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Grandma's Boy, and Deuce Bigelow-European Gigolo. They continue to be one of the industry's top grossing concert attractions.
Diagnosed at the age of 6, Bret Michaels has been living the diabetes lifestyle for decades and has seen advancements being made in the management of diabetes. Citing the incongruity of the rock star lifestyle and the diabetes lifestyle, balance was the key to maintaining his diabetes life and his life on and off the stage. It was a show at Madison Square Garden shortly after the release of the group's first album that led Michaels to come out to the diabetes community about his disease. A common flu combined with an insulin shot and a missed meal led to his passing out at the show. It was misinterpreted by the media as a drug stupor. For the sake of his fans, he shared his lifelong struggle.
Setting his musical sights beyond Poison, Michaels released his debut solo album Songs of Life in 2003, followed by the rootsy, Americana flavored sophomore record Freedom of Sound in 2005. In 2008, he released Rock My World, featuring the smash hit Go That Far. Michaels has also produced and written material for other artists including Stevie Nicks. He wrote and produced the song Love's a Hard Game to Play, which appeared on Nicks' platinum album Timespace: The Best Of Stevie Nicks. More recently, Michaels could be heard providing background vocals along with Phil Vassar on the Kenny Chesney/Uncle Kracker duet single Last Night Again.
In the mid-90s, Michaels formed a film production company with actor Charlie Sheen. The partnership ultimately led to Michaels writing, directing, and starring in several films including A Letter From Death Row, which he executive co-produced with Sheen.
As an actor, Michaels has made regular appearances on such hit television shows as Yes Dear, Martial Law, and The Chris Isaak Show. He has also co-hosted Access Hollywood and been a judge on the wildly popular Nashville Star program. His Rock of Love television series is of the most successful in VH1's history, which has led Michaels to embark on several other television projects, including the upcoming Bret Michaels Show.
Michaels has also recently played on Don't Forget the Lyrics, winning $250,000 for St. Jude's Children's Hospital and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Soon after, Michaels joined other celebrities as a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice. As a competitor under Donald Trump, Michaels and other celebrities work towards raising over $1 million for various charities throughout the season. Michaels' charity is The American Diabetes Association and in just the first episode, Michaels brought in $100,000.
More recently, Michaels' daughter, Raine Elizabeth Sychak, was tested for diabetes; she was diagnosed with prediabetes. With his autobiography, Roses and Thorns: The Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy to My Reality, set for release this year, Michaels was rushed to the hospital after suffering a brain hemorrhage on April 22, 2010. While in critical condition, he underwent tests that revealed he has developed a side effect that causes seizures known as hyponatremia.
Not three weeks after Michaels was out of the hospital and in stable condition after suffering a "warning stroke," Michaels flew to New York as a finalist in the finale of The Celebrity Apprentice, where Donald Trump announced him as the winner and 2010 Celebrity Apprentice. Michaels won $500,000 for his charity, The American Diabetes Association, in addition to the $250,000 donation from Snapple to help find a cure for diabetes.
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