He has two sisters, Michelle and Nicole. Shortly thereafter, Besselman left the band due to creative differences and in the band hired Matt Smith to form a new band named Paris in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. In early the band tired of playing the Pennsylvania bar circuit, changed their name to Poison  and moved west to Los Angeles to seek fame in the Sunset Boulevard scene.
That same year, Michaels met year-old Tracy Lewis, who would become both his girlfriend and the muse for one of his most memorable songs.
Eventually, Matt Smith tired of the band's struggle to find fame and returned home. He was replaced by C. DeVille , who would become both Michaels' friend and a source of conflict.
It did not see great success until , when Michaels convinced the band to film a video for their song, "Talk Dirty to Me". The album went platinum, and the band became famous. Michaels took his insulin injection before the show but was so nervous about performing that he neglected to eat. Several songs into Poison's set, Michaels went into insulin shock and collapsed onstage. When subsequent media reports alleged that Michaels collapsed due to a drug overdose, Michaels publicly announced that he was a diabetic.
Though Michaels contends that Lewis was unfaithful to him, Lewis now Lewis Crosby insists that it was Michaels who was unfaithful. Michaels was inspired by the breakup to write " Every Rose Has Its Thorn ", explaining that the rose represented his fame and success, whereas the loss of his relationship represented the thorn.
The song was released as a power ballad single in December , and is regarded as "the ultimate '80s anthem about heartbreak". After getting into a fistfight with Michaels, DeVille left the band, and descended further into addiction. In the mids, after a night of partying, Michaels came close to dying when he crashed his Ferrari into a telephone pole.
He incurred serious injury, including broken ribs, a disfigured nose and lost teeth. Deville, Poison went on a successful greatest hits reunion tour. In the next decade, Bret Michaels would split his time between Poison and a successful solo career.
In Michaels released a country demos ep and also released the album "Show Me Your Hits" which featured re-recorded Poison classics, the album featured Michaels performing Poison hits in a new way and also featured other artists with Michaels on selected tracks.
In , Michaels released a brand new studio album Songs of Life which featured the singles "Raine" dedicated to his daughter and "Bittersweet". Michaels also released his first solo music video for the single "Raine" which was directed by award-winning director Shane Stanley. The album charted at No. Michaels also re released the "Fallen" single with acoustic, piano and demo versions included. Burns Park in Massapequa, NY.
In , 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 and was the most added song to radio the week of its release, topping both Bon Jovi and Nickelback. Michaels performed on the American Idol season 9 finale on May 26 against his doctor's recommendation.
The album became Michaels highest charting solo album to date peaking at No. 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, , exclusively at Billboard's and contains footage from the series, which officially premieres on VH1 on October 18, The music video is a special tribute to his fans and was released on Thanksgiving.
TV series  which also included a music video featured on the series and the promo commercials. To make the night complete, this New Year's Eve bash will be featured and well documented in the music video for the new single "Get Your Rock On" from Bret's upcoming new album. The video will be customized for each race throughout the season.
The new album features collaborations with some of the top artists and players in music from a variety of genres and generations. Michaels announced that he will perform the track live on the April 2 edition of "Oprah's Lifeclass" which will be taped live on Oprah's website.
The song was co written with Grammy award-winning songwriter of the year, Luke Laird. The album will feature 21 new and classic hits. The compilation was released digitally May 5, and Michaels released the video for the new single Girls On Bars on May In May, Bret Michaels released a brand-new single which is a heartfelt tribute to his youngest daughter, Jorja Bleu, in honor of her 12th birthday.
However, she announced during the October 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 The show's second season premiered on January 13, After the show the two maintained a relationship, but parted ways after just a few months due to personal commitments, but they remain good friends.
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. What you see is what you get with me. They also produced No Code of Conduct that same year, which Michaels also directed and acted in. He also appeared as himself in three episodes of The Chris Isaak Show from to He subsequently sued the event's organizers, claiming that the collision led to his brain hemorrhage.
The suit is currently [update] pending. Life As I Know It , which depicts his life at home with his daughters and their mother. In June, , while on a national tour date in Omaha, NE, Bret became aware of a series of tornadoes that hit the Nebraska town of Pilger. He, his band, and crew, went to Pilger to see the damage and assist with clean-up. When his tour came near the area again in August, , he hosted a fundraising performance in Norfolk, Nebraska to help torndado victims in the area.
May 20, and Jorja Bleu b. After Poison's and Michaels's longtime attorney, Ed McPherson obtained a federal injunction  prohibiting the distribution of an explicit sex tape that the couple had made, an abridged version of the sex tape appeared on the Internet in   and was released on DVD on September 7, , by Metro Studios. On May 20, , it was reported on his official website  that Michaels has been "readmitted to the hospital this week after suffering numbness on the left side of his body".
While conducting diagnostic tests it was found that Michaels has a " patent foramen ovale PFO , a hole in the heart". As he was ending his performance with Poison and exiting to the stage rear, a large portion of the descending set struck him on the head and knocked him down. The initial injuries reported was a broken nose.
However the hemorrhage incident in prompted Michaels to file a lawsuit for unspecified damages against the Tony Awards and CBS claiming the incident caused the hemorrhage.