Bret Michaels On Stadium Tour 2020, Co-Writing “Unbroken” With His Daughter & His Dedication To Philanthropy

Photo Credit: Mark Mazzanti

Bret Michaels is best known for his legendary music career selling more than 50 million records, but his relentless dedication to philanthropy is what impressed us most when we chatted with him by phone yesterday. From raising millions of dollars for everything from diabetes awareness and childhood cancer research to veterans organizations and pet charities, the multi-platinum global superstar certainly knows what is important in life. “To reach out and help one person is an awesome day; to reach out and help many is an awesome life,” he said.

When performing in stadiums in front of thousands of fans, seeing everyone leave their worries at the door and simply enjoying themselves for a few hours must be an incredibly rewarding feeling. “What you just said is magic,” he said. “Music is an organic natural bonding experience. To have thousands of strangers with their arms in the air is truly incredible. There is something magical about the universal language of music.”

Michaels, who is on the road right now with his sold-out “Unbroken World Tour” is also preparing for next summer’s Stadium Tour 2020 with Poison, Motley Crue, Def Leppard and Joan Jett. Will there be a second show added at Fenway? “There are heavy rumors that there may be a second show,” he revealed.

The Poison frontman and Pennsylvania native took some time out on the road to discuss his Life Rocks Foundation, being honored with the 2019 Humanitarian of the Year Award and co-writing the emotional hit song “Unbroken” with daughter Jorja Bleu.

Photo Credit: Bret Michaels

We hear this weekend you will be taking your own private plane to drop off supplies and toys to the people of the Bahamas and Puerto Rico, who are still suffering from the hurricane damage?

Yes, through my Life Rocks Foundation and Paradise Fund, I will be going to the Bahamas on Friday morning then going back and reloading with the Marines Toys for Tots supplies and heading to Puerto Rico. It’s going to be a very full plane. To maximize space, there won’t be many people onboard so I will be the loader and the unloader [laughs].

Congratulations on recently receiving the Humanitarian of the Year award at this year’s Hollywood Christmas parade. What an honor!

It was incredible; thank you for saying it. I love to do it. I want to do it. I always want to rock, and it’s awesome to be recognized in this way. I am so thankful. I’m honored to be able to do this. It makes me feel good and adds a purpose. I’m thankful and grateful to play music, but to be able to add these kinds of things is amazing. If I can leave something awesome behind in the cities I visit, that’s worth it.

What was it like writing the single “Unbroken” with your daughter?

I wrote the single with my youngest daughter, who was going through a tough time in her young teen life. She asked if we could write a song and I said, let’s get at the piano and told her to write what you feel so people can relate to it. She was a young teen girl going through some things at the time. The song “Unbroken” is not about a particular thing. It’s more like, with broken wings, we learn to fly. Whether you have financial, marriage or health issues or whatever you are going through, this song is about going through a tough time and overcoming that challenge.

You’ll be playing at Six String in Foxboro again in a couple of weeks and then Fenway Park on August 25 with Poison, Motley Crue, Def Leppard and Joan Jett.  How excited are you for that?

Fenway Park has so much history. You can’t beat the energy of the northeast. I have been to Fenway Park many times and thrown some pitches, but this is the first time playing at the stadium. To be able to play there is incredible.  I will be coming to Six String (December 30) for a pre-New Year’s Eve mega party. There will be a huge meet-and-greet and we are going to take it up a notch. There’s something about the people in Boston. They have a real energy. The emotion at Fenway Park is just going to be incredible.

More and more people are getting to know Bret Michaels the country artist. Were there any challenges making the transition to country music?

Because of my love for music, it was never a transition really. It was seamless. The fans are amazing. We have some who are die-hard rock fans, who have the time of their lives at the show. When “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” came out, it was the #1 rock, #1 pop and Top 20 country song. I just play what I play and listen to everything from Lynyrd Skynyrd and Rush to Van Halen and James Taylor. No one growing up with me thought it was strange. It just ran the gamut.

Photo Credit: Bret Michaels

You have been a big military and first responder supporter for years. Why is that so important for you?

My father passed away on August 4 and he was a Navy combat veteran. My cousins have two Purple Hearts. I make it very clear when I am onstage. I say I am there thanks to veterans, their families and our freedom. I get to do what I love to do because of the sacrifices they make. Concerts are meant to be a great time. I don’t get political; it’s not a political speech I am trying to make. I just want our veterans to know how much they are appreciated.

How would you say your outlook on life has changed since having a stroke back in 2010?

I had an emergency appendectomy and 11 days later I had a brain hemorrhage. Then I had a heart operation and diabetic kidney issues. My outlook remains stronger. I have always been energetic and it just shows my fighting nature.

Would you say growing up with Type 1 diabetes has been a driving force in who you have become as an artist?

I am one of those people who has never been bitter. I have been a diabetic since I was six years old and have five injections a day. It’s a battle, but I have mentally accepted the card I was dealt. You just have to deal with it and figure it out how to get it done. Thanks to my mom and dad, who helped put together Harrisburg Diabetic Youth Camp that is still around today, which helped me in every aspect. Everybody came together and learned we could do this. The motto was “adapt to live the best life I can.” That has helped me throughout my life. I use adversity to be another log in the fire of success.

Any New Year’s resolutions you’d like to share?

I love to be on the road and I love music. Balancing time with my family and being a good dad with what I love to do and my charity aspect are some of my resolutions. I want to keep the philanthropy at top speed. It’s all about gratitude and having a positive attitude.