Published December 30, 2010
For Bret Michaels, 2010 was one wild ride, and we were there with him every step of the way.
From injury to illness, from the boardroom to the bedroom, Michaels made news just about every way you can imagine in 2010, making him FOX411.com’s Celebrity of the Year.
“I am completely honored—I’m at a loss for words other than just a big thank you,” Michaels told FOX411.com in an exclusive interview. “It’s a completely awesome honor!”
In 2009, Michaels was in the headlines when the curtain came down prematurely on his nose during Poison’s Tony Awards performance. But that was nothing compared to what he’d suffer in 2010.
“Talk about roses and thorns,” said Michaels. “In 2010, it was either really good or it really sucked—there was no in-between.”
In April, the “Rock of Love” star had a major health scare when doctors discovered he had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage after complaining of a headache. “Less than two weeks after (an emergency appendectomy), I was sitting on my couch—and I knew instantly," he said. "When you have a subarachnoid hemorrhage, the vein actually explodes. There’s nothing left of it. It felt like someone shot me in the back of the head.”
Michaels' girlfriend, Kristi Gibson, rushed him to the emergency room. “I thought, ‘This is it. I’m going to die.’ They were asking me if I had a will in place. It was painfully surreal.” Michaels spent eleven days in intensive care, followed by weeks of physical therapy.
As the live finale of “Celebrity Apprentice” approached in May, fans were concerned the bandana-bedecked rocker wouldn't be healthy enough to tape the show. Michaels not only returned for the finale, he won—donating his prize of $640,000 to the American Diabetes Association, a disease he has suffered from since childhood. “I felt good to bring awareness to the cause. I wanted to be able to show kids that it’s not a death sentence.”
Just days later, against doctors’ advice, Michaels performed on the “American Idol” finale, watched by almost 20 million people. “When I rehearsing, they wanted me to walk down those big white steps—I told them that unless the show was going to be two hours long, I would never make it to the microphone! But what an amazing night. Everyone stood on their feet—it was a great feeling!”
In July, Michaels released his new album, “Custom Built,” which featured a duet with Miley Cyrus, “Nothing to Lose.”
First Michaels had to scuttle rumors that he and Miley had a fling. “Everyone went crazy thinking there was some kind of relationship between us,” Michaels explained. “I just laughed at it. It was a bazillion percent untrue.”
But the Cyrus rumors were just starting.
By November, reports were pouring in that Michaels had an affair with Miley’s mom, Tish Cyrus, contributing to the end of her marriage to country crooner Billy Ray Cyrus.
“They were determined—somewhere along the line, I was having relationship with someone in the Cyrus family," Michaels laughed.
Michaels immediately blasted the gossip, telling "Fox & Friends" that he had known the Cyruses “forever” and that he never had a romantic relationship with Tish. “I took pictures with Tish at 'Good Morning America.' Next thing I know—within an hour of that, we were in a torrid love affair. We both kind of laughed it off, but then when Tish and Billy Ray separated, then the rumors went insane. I put a statement out that it was untrue, but no one cared.”
And with his big year coming to a close, the Michaels news train refused to pull into the station.
In early December, Michaels proposed to his baby momma and on-off girlfriend of sixteen years, Kristi Gibson. The proposal was taped for the finale of Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It, which aired December 20, 2010. “When I proposed, I thought I was going to be one of those guys on YouTube who goes to get the ring and they face plant,” Michaels told FOX411.com. “But it happened really naturally, it was very in the moment. I got my fingers crossed that we’re both going to make it really work.”
Michaels' calendar is already filled for 2011, with an operation to repair the hole in his heart scheduled for the third week of January, resuming his world tour, doing a celebrity cruise and publishing his autobiography this summer, "Roses and Thorns: The Reality of My Rock and Roll Fantasy."
“It will make you laugh as hard as you cry," Michaels said. "And I’ve got the pictures to prove most of it!"
One highlight of the upcoming tome: Bret losing his virginity to a “slightly older” woman in a fish hatchery, “with my motorcycle and an eight-track tape playing in the background.”
So congratulations, FOX411.com Celebrity of the Year Bret Michaels. We can’t wait to see what else you do in 2011.
Just one request: no more brain hemorrhages.