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The song was released as a power ballad single in December 1988, and is regarded as "the ultimate '80s anthem about heartbreak".
Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Poison became one of the biggest glam metal bands in the world, recording their second album, the multi-platinum selling Open Up and Say... , and their third album, the multi-platinum selling Flesh & Blood.
However, their lives were characterized by the escalating tension between Michaels and De Ville that derived from their mutual drug use, which came to a head during their 1990/91 "Flesh and Blood" world tour.
Also cited is the spectacle of De Ville's behavior during the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards.
Michaels recorded his first solo album in 1998 titled A Letter from Death Row which was the soundtrack to the same-titled movie he directed, wrote, and starred in.
In 2000 Michaels released a country demos ep and also released the album "Show Me Your Hits" which featured re-recorded Poison classics, the album featured Michaels performing Poison hits in a new way and also featured other artists with Michaels on selected tracks.
On July 6, 2010, Michaels released his new album Custom Built.
The album became Michaels highest charting solo album to date peaking at No. On August 4, 2010, Michaels appeared in the fifth season of America's Got Talent and performed "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", accompanying himself on acoustic folk guitar.
1987 also saw the dissolution of his relationship with Lewis, who felt that fame had changed him.
Though Michaels contends that Lewis was unfaithful to him, Lewis (now Lewis Crosby) insists that it was Michaels who was unfaithful.
Michaels was inspired by the breakup to write "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", explaining that the rose represented his fame and success, whereas the loss of his relationship represented the thorn.
In 2001 Michaels released a unique storytellers CD titled Ballads, Blues & Stories which featured Poison and Michaels solo tracks along with recorded stories about each song. In December 2008, Michaels released a single version of "Driven" (rock mix) which also featured a music video with preview clips for the third season of Rock of Love, titled Rock of Love Bus.
In 2003, Michaels released a brand new studio album Songs of Life which featured the singles "Raine" (dedicated to his daughter) and "Bittersweet". Michaels also re released the "Fallen" single with acoustic, piano and demo versions included.