Bret Michaels Turns 50, With ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ Still Blooming
Bret Michaels of Poison is turning the big five-oh... but his head scarf doesn't look a day over 40!
In honor of his 50th birthday on March 15, we take a look back at what he'll be most remembered for the rest of his decades. And no, it's not the most inexplicable reality show of all time, Rock of Love, although that's a close second, but the most celebrated metal power ballad ever to come down the pike, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."
The tune was Poison's lone No. 1 single, reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in the final week of 1988 and carrying over into the first two weeks of '89. But for a song that's nearly half as old as Michaels himself, it's inescapable. For that, you can thank or blame classic rock radio, Glee, Miley Cyrus, the Broadway and film versions of Rock of Ages, Regis Philbin, pop culture shout-outs in everything from Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey to The Simpsons... and the fact that Michaels himself seems to re-record it about every other year.
Back in 2009, there was minor controversy over the fact that Michaels was dueting with Ms. Cyrus, who was then deemed by some to be a little too young to be sharing romantic or sexual chemistry on record. So perhaps he thought he should even out the median age of his duet partners, because he's about to release yet another new version of "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," this time featuring him trading verses with country legend Loretta Lynn, who has a good three decades on him.
But wait—maybe we have to lower that median age back down again, come to think of it. Because Michaels has also released a special Kidz Bop version of the ballad sung by his two young daughters, with him accompanying them on guitar. In the kiddie version, the lyrics were sanitized so the estranged lovers were "sitting" together at the end of the night instead of sleeping together.
All this historic endurance for a song about a stripper. Not just any stripper, mind you, but the exotic dancer who was the love of Michaels' life for a few years in the mid-'80s, as Poison rose to glory at the peak of MTV's love affair with follicular lacquer.