Birthday: March 15, 1963
Age: 57 Years, 57 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Pisces
Also Known As: Bret Michael Sychak
Born in: Butler, Pennsylvania
Famous as: Singer
Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males
father: Wally Sychak
mother: Marjorie Sychak
siblings: Michelle Sychak, Nicole Sychak
children: Jorja Bleu Michaels, Raine Michaels
Partner: Kristi Lynn Gibson
U.S. State: Pennsylvania
education: Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School
Bret Michael Sychak is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and author, best known as a member of the glam metal band Poison. He is professionally known as Bret Michaels. He began his musical journey as a teenager when he started playing the guitar and established a band with his friends. Initially playing in the Pennsylvania bar circuit under the name Paris, they relocated to Los Angeles in 1984. They renamed themselves as Poison and signed a deal with Enigma Records, releasing their first album ‘Look What the Cat Dragged In’ in August 1986. Though initially unsuccessful, the album became immensely popular after the music video for the single ‘Talk Dirty to Me’ was put out. In the ensuing years, the band’s works appeared ten different times on the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100; these included six Top 10 singles and a number-one single, ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’. In 1998, he debuted as a solo singer with the album ‘A Letter from Death Row’. He recorded four more studio albums and four compilation albums, and two EPs. He had a hit reality TV show on VH1, titled ‘Rock of Love with Bret Michaels’. He appeared at No.40 on Hit Parader’s list of the greatest Heavy metal singers of all-time.
Childhood & Early Life
Bret Michaels was born on March 15, 1963 in the city of Butler, Pennsylvania, as the son of Wally and Marjorie Sychak. He and his two sisters, Michelle and Nicole, grew up in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
An ideal representative of American diversity, he is of Carpatho-Rusyn (from his paternal grandfather), Irish, English, German, and Swiss ancestry. When he was six year old, he fell seriously ill and had to spend three weeks in a hospital. He was later told that he had Type 1 diabetes.
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Career with Poison
Bret Michaels became interested in music early in his life, and by the time he was a teenager, he was already playing guitar like a professional. Michaels, along with drummer Rikki Rockett, bass player Bobby Dall and guitarist David Besselman formed a band, in which Besselman served as the creative force. However, Besselman, who had originally introduced Michaels to Rockett and Dall, left the band soon after and another guitarist named Matt Smith was brought in.
In 1983, while the group was in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, they picked “Paris” as the name for their band. They performed at numerous venues in Pennsylvania that year, before moving to Los Angeles in early 1984. They changed their name to “Poison” and became a regular performer in the Sunset Boulevard scene. During this period, Michaels met his future muse, 16-year-old Tracy Davis.
The band suffered a setback when Smith, frustrated that they had not achieved success yet, left the group. Brooklyn-based guitarist C.C. DeVille was hired to replace him. In the coming years, he and Michaels would become close friends and eventually, opposing sides in a major conflict.
They garnered a small but loyal following in Los Angeles, and it led to a contract with Enigma Records. On August 2, 1986, their first album, ‘Look What the Cat Dragged In’ was released. In time, it reached the No.3 position on the US Billboard 200 and by 1990, was certified 3x Platinum by RIAA. It was also picked as the No.2 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time.
In March 1987, while headlining a show at Madison Square Garden, Michaels collapsed on stage. Initially, there were speculations of drug overdose but he revealed to the public that he was a Type 1 diabetic and the collapse was caused by insulin shock.
The disintegration of his relationship with Davis began in 1987 as well. She has since maintained that it was because fame had changed Michaels while Michaels has stated that she had been unfaithful to him. The separation prompted him to write the power ballad ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’. Released in December 1988, the song came to be regarded as "the ultimate '80s anthem about heartbreak".
In the 1980s and early 1990s, Poison emerged as one of the greatest glam metal bands in the world. They released a total of seven studio albums, four live albums, and eight compilation albums, several of which have been certified as multi-Platinum.
Despite the band’s success, there was a growing conflict between Michaels and DeVille, which has often been attributed to mutual drug abuse. After a much publicized fistfight with Michaels, DeVille left the group and a guitarist named Richie Kotzen replaced him. DeVille returned to the band in 1998. Michaels has since divided his time between the band and his career as a solo artist.
Michaels began his solo career in 1998. His first album ‘A Letter from Death Row’ was created as a soundtrack for the film of the same name, which he wrote, directed, and starred in.
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Subsequently, he released studio albums ‘Songs of Life’ on April 22, 2003, ‘Freedom of Sound’ on January 1, 2005, ‘Custom Built’ on July 6, 2010, and ‘Jammin’ with Friends’ on June 25, 2013; compilation albums ‘Show Me Your Hits’ in 2000, ‘Ballads, Blues & Stories in 2001, ‘Rock My World’ on June 3, 2008, and ‘True Grit’ on May 5, 2015; and extended plays ‘Country Demos’ in 2000 and ‘Bret Michaels: Acoustic Sessions’ in 2008.
Film & Television
Bret Michaels starred in the reality TV series, ‘Rock of Love with Bret Michaels’ which aired between July 2007 and April 2009. In the show, several women competed to be Michaels’ girlfriend. The first season winner, Jes Rickleff, announced that she did not have any romantic feelings for Michaels and stepped aside for the runner-up, Heather Chadwell. The next two seasons’ winners were Ambre Lake and Taya Parker, respectively. A fourth season was planned but Michaels had already moved on to his next project.
His other notable television appearances include VH1’s ‘Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It’, a reality show that focused on his home life with his daughters and their mother, and ‘The Celebrity Apprentice 3’ (The Apprentice season 9), which he won.
He and actor Charlie Sheen co-own the film production company ‘Sheen/Michaels Entertainment’, which has produced movies such as ‘No Code of Conduct’ (1998) and ‘Free Money’ (1998).
Michaels is an ardent supporter of research on diabetes, having suffered from the disease since his childhood. He donated the $640,000 he got for winning ‘The Celebrity Apprentice 3’ in 2010 to the American Diabetes Association.
He and his band have performed to raise money for various causes, including for tornado victims in 2014.
Awards & Achievements
Bret Michaels won the Cable Award at the 2008 BMI Film & TV Awards for ‘Rock of Love with Bret Michaels’.
He was nominated for the Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Male Reality/Variety Star for ‘The Apprentice’ in 2010.
Personal Life & Legacy
Bret Michaels once dated Pamela Anderson. He had been in an on-again, off-again relationship with actress Kristi Lynn Gibson since 1996. She gave birth to their daughters, Raine Elizabeth, born on May 20, 2000 and Jorja Bleu, born on May 5, 2005. Michaels and Gibson got engaged in 2010, after he proposed to her during the filming of his show ‘Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It’. However, in 2012, he announced that they had separated.
In the mid-1990s, Michaels was almost killed when the Ferrari he was driving crashed into a telephone pole.
Michaels successfully sued the Tony Awards and CBS for damages after he was injured by a large portion of the descending set at the 63rd Tony Awards on June 7, 2009. They eventually settled for an undisclosed amount.
Michaels co-hosted the Miss Universe 2010 with journalist Natalie Morales.