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Bret Michael Sychak (born March 15, 1963 in Butler, Pennsylvaniamarker) is best known 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 has also starred in the VH1 reality show Rock of Love with Bret Michaels and its sequels, and as a judge on the talent show Nashville Star.

Music career

The band Paris began in 1983, with Michaels forming the band in Harrisburg, Pennsylvaniamarker in 1984. The original lineup for Paris was Leighton Zema on lead vocals, Bret Michaels on guitar, Brian Bircher on drums, Jonathan Combs on synthesizer/gong, and Patrick Bircher on bass. All original members, except Michaels, were from Steelton, PA, but they were all replaced by the members of what later became Poison. The band moved to Los Angelesmarker in 1984 to begin touring clubs there. Poison became one of the biggest of the 80's hair metal bands in the world and also recording several hit albums such as the 8 million seller Open Up and Say...Ahh!.

Michaels recorded his first solo album in 1998 A Letter from Death Row the soundtrack to the same-titled movie he directed, wrote, and starred in. In 2003, he released the studio album Songs of Life. Michaels also served as a judge during the 2005 season of reality television singing competition Nashville Star and released a country rock album in the same year called Freedom of Sound. Michaels released Rock My World in June 2008 which featured music from his reality television series Rock of Love including the new singles "Go That Far" (Rock of Love theme), "Fallen" and "Start Again", the first 2 also featuring music videos with clips from the series and the album charted at #40 on the Billboard 200 and #4 on the top independent albums. In December 2008 Bret released a single version of "Driven" (rock mix) which also featured a music video with preview clips for Rock of Love Bus and he also re released the "Fallen" single with acoustic, piano and demo versions included.

Bret 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."

Other ventures

Michaels and actor Charlie Sheen established a film production company, Sheen/Michaels Entertainment, which produced the movie A Letter from Death Row (1998), which Michaels wrote, directed and starred in, and for which he released a soundtrack album. They also produced No Code of Conduct in the same year, which Bret Michaels also directed. Their company also produced the feature film Free Money, starring Marlon Brando and Mira Sorvino. and the surfer movie In God's Hands.

Michaels appeared in an episode of the CBS sitcom Yes, Dear.

The cable-TV network VH1 announced on February 14, 2007 that Michaels would star as the bachelor in the reality television dating-competition series Rock of Love with Bret Michaels. Jes Rickleff was the winner of the series, however, she also had a boyfriend outside the show and claimed that the casting directors chose her off of the street. She announced during the reunion show that she and Michaels were not right for each other and told Heather he was all hers and that he should have chosen the runner up. The first season was released on DVD in early 2008.

Michaels went on to star in the second season of Rock of Love, which premiered on January 13, 2008. On April 13, 2008, Michaels selected Ambre Lake as his "Rock of Love". Ambre and Michaels have since broken up, and Rock of Love 3 premiered on January 4, 2009.

On May 1, 2008, Michaels appeared on a special celebrity edition of Don't Forget the Lyrics!, where he raised $200,000 to donate to charity.

Bret Michaels has 19 top hits and he has 31 nominated songs. Including the two songs on Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.

Bret Michaels has also been seen touring with the USO in Kuwait in 2007 for soldiers deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Michaels was also portrayed in the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, which features him singing "Go That Far" and Poison's "Talk Dirty to Me".

Personal life

Michaels was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of six (as Michaels later attested in the Behind the Music special, backstage photos of the singer injecting insulin led many to think that he was a heroin addict). When he was a child, his family relocated to Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where he attended Mechanicsburg High Schoolmarker.

Bret Michaels dated and later became engaged to actress and singer Susie Hatton. Michaels and Hatton dated from 1988 to 1993. Bret produced Hatton's debut album Body and Soul in 1991. Susie Hatton is featured in Poison's "Fallen Angel" music video released in 1988. Bret has two daughters with Kristi Lynn Gibson whom he dated from 1994 to 2005. Raine Elizabeth Sychak was born on May 20, 2000, and Jorja Bleu Sychak was born May 5, 2005. As of 2005, Michaels and Gibson are separated and share custody of their children.

Michaels had a short but notorious relationship with Pamela Anderson. An abridged version of an explicit sex tape the couple made appeared on the Internet and was released on DVD on September 7, 2005 by Metro Studios. Michaels later stopped the sexually explicit tape from being distributed, although the "teaser" version of it is still widely available on the Internet.

Michaels is a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League and the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League. He has a personalized guitar bearing the team's logo, and played the national anthem at Three Rivers Stadiummarker. His favorite player was Jack Lambert, and Michaels has been a member of fan club "Lambert's Lunatics."

On June 7, 2009, Michaels suffered a fractured nose and cut lip at the Tony Awards show after performing Poison's song "Nothin' but a Good Time" with the cast of the musical "Rock of Ages." When Michaels turned to exit the stage, a descending piece of the set hit him in the head before he could duck under it, knocking him on his back.

Rock of Love

Michaels has been the subject of a VH1 reality dating series, Rock of Love with Bret Michaels, which aired for three seasons.


For a discography as a member of Poison, see Poison discography.


Year Album details Chart Positions
US Rock
1998 A Letter from Death Row
  • Released: August 25, 1998
  • Label: Ugl Records
2001 Ballads, Blues & Stories
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: Poor Boy Records
2003 Songs of Life
  • Released: April 22, 2003
  • Label: Poor Boy Records
2005 Freedom of Sound
  • Released: January 1, 2005
  • Label: Poor Boy Records
2008 Rock My World 40 4 4
"—" denotes the album failed to chart or not released


Year Album
2000 Country Demos
2008 Bret Michaels: Acoustic Sessions


Year Single US Country Album
1998 "Party Rock Band" (with C.C. DeVille) A Letter from Death Row
2003 "Raine" Songs of Life
2004 "All I Ever Needed" (with Jessica Andrews) 45 Freedom of Sound
"Right Now, Right Here"
2005 "Open Road"
2007 "Go That Far" Rock My World
2008 "Start Again"
"Driven" (rock mix)
"—" denotes releases that failed to chart




  1. Yes, Dear episode

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