So who is the bad boy behind the bandana? If you're not a big fan of '80s hair metal, chances are you only know Bret Michaels from his recent victory on Celebrity Apprentice. Here's a quick review of his career. Steve Spears, Times staff writer
1BRET WHO? On March 15, 1963, Wally and Marjorie Sychak give birth to Bret Michael Sychak in Pennsylvania. At age 6, he's hospitalized for three weeks and diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
2HE'LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS: In 1983, along with drummer Rikki Rockett, bass player Bobby Dall and guitarist Matt Smith, he forms the band Paris. In 1984, they move to Los Angeles and change their name to Poison. Smith quits the band and is replaced with C.C. DeVille.
3DIRTY TALK WORKS BEST: In 1987, the band's video for Talk Dirty to Me fuels platinum sales of their first album, Look What the Cat Dragged In. The year also sees the breakup between Michaels and girlfriend Tracy Lewis, inspiring the power ballad Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Released in 1988, the song is a smash hit.
4JUST FLESH AND BLOOD: In 1991, despite success with multiplatinum albums Open Up and Say . . . Ahh! and Flesh & Blood, tensions between Michaels and DeVille overflow after a poor performance at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards. DeVille leaves the band. Michaels begins a solo career in 1998.
5ROCK OF LOVE: In 2007, after a successful decade as a solo artist, Michaels agrees to star in the VH1 reality dating show Rock of Love With Bret Michaels (below), where a group of women fight it out for the chance to be Bret's girlfriend. The show lasts three seasons.
6THE TONYS DEBACLE: In June 2009, Michaels is leveled on stage by a lowering prop while performing live with Poison at the Tony Awards. He suffers a broken nose, and the video of the accident becomes an Internet sensation.
7TO THE ICU: In early April of this year, Michaels is rushed to a hospital for an emergency appendectomy. A few weeks later, he again is whisked to a hospital and listed in critical condition after doctors discover he has suffered a massive brain hemorrhage.
8WINNER! In May, only a month after being hospitalized for his brain hemorrhage, Michaels is declared the winner of Donald Trump's The Celebrity Apprentice. He appears at the show's New York finale against doctors' wishes. "Are you risking your life being here? This is a lot of pressure," Trump asked him during the show. "Lately it seems like me just standing up is risking my life," Michaels replied.
This report contains material from the New York Times, People, Associated Press, Biography.com, Los Angeles Times and Associated Content.