Bret Michaels

Bret Michaels: lead vocals, rhythm guitars, acoustic guitars, harmonica Born: March 15, 1963 in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Real name: Bret Michael Sychak Albums: All of 'em. Bret is one of the three co-founders of the band and the main songwriter (although it's a job shared by all members). Bret released a solo album in 1998, along with his first film; one that he wrote, directed, and played the starring role (no, not the Pamela tape; it's called A Letter from Death Row) Citing earliest musical influences as Kiss, AC/DC, Sweet and Aerosmith, Bret began his performing career with a basement band called Laser, eventually moving on to Spectres, which he formed with Rikki.

Michaels may have had his share of fun in the early days, but he's also had to contend with the fact that he was suffering from diabetes, a terrifying disease which forces him to monitor his blood sugar and take insulin shots on a daily basis. "I went into insulin shock around three times when I was little and had to go the hospital in an ambulance. That was very scary," stated Bret, who often gets mistaken for a heroin addict when people come across syringes in his trash as hotels. "I was once in a Portland, Maine hotel," recalled Bret, "and the maid came in the clean the room, and she saw the syringe in the trash basket and called the police because she thought I was a junkie and she was going to get AIDS because she touched the basket. I had to go to the police station and prove that I wasn't." Not about to let the disease prevent him from pursuing his goals or his active lifestyle, Michaels was determined to lead as normal a life as he could, which he accomplished through constant support from his friends and taking "as good care as I could," Bret explained. "For the most part, I never let it stop me from doing anything." Bret regularly works out to keep himself in top shape, which he has to in order to maintain, the intensive touring schedule that Poison was renowned for. Of course, the female Poison fans don't mind it either, branding the frontman "one of the sexiest rockers around. " While he appreciates such attention, he modestly brushes it off by saying, "If you saw me in the morning, I wouldn't even be in the Top 500!" This down-to-earth attitude is equally evident in the way Bret treats and talks about Poison's fans, who he feels are "on an even par with us. I hate it when I hear other stars saying how they 'want to come down to the fans' level', 'cause we party, we're never rude to anyone." While Bret keeps pretty busy touring, recording and writing with Poison, he occasionally finds the time to check out a movie or two, preferably with his favorite actors, Sly Stallone, Mel Gibson, favorite actresses, Jami Gertz, Kelly LeBrock and Brigitte Nielsen. Naming Rambo as his favorite movie of all time, Michaels also likes to read in is spare time (of which there isn't very much at the moment), with The Outsiders topping his list of favorite books. Although he's an experienced performer, Bret admits that he and the rest of Poison still get "more nervous than any other band in the world" when playing live, "but that gives us more energy than any other band in the world.," explained the blonde vocalist.