JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Former Poison frontman Bret Michaels made a return to the stage Thursday, just one week after a string of six hospital visits and kidney surgery.
The show was a kind of tuneup and test run for a charity concert that Michaels, 51, is set to do Friday night in Fort Myers, Florida, according to Janna Elias, vice president of operations for Bret Michaels Entertainment.
On stage, Michaels made it clear to the screaming crowd at Mavericks at The Landing that he was just fine, shouting after nearly every song, "Jacksonville, Florida! Jacksonville, Florida! Thank you!"
After about an hour, Michaels addressed his recent medical issues: "We honestly didn't know how long we would make it," Michaels shouted above the applauding crowd. "Let me tell you, I'm feeling very little pain."
But Michaels ended the show soon after, about an hour in, then came back for an encore, performing a rousing rendition of Poison's "Nothin' But a Good Time."
Michaels' was hospitalized on Nov. 1 when, against medical and friends' advice, he performed a concert in Knoxville, Tennessee, but then was immediately rushed to a hospital.
Michaels has had numerous physical issues through the years. He was diagnosed with diabetes as a child and was struck in the head by a set piece during the Tony Awards in 2009, an injury that led to a near-fatal brain hemorrhage. Michaels' handler said the singer isn't overdoing it as he returns to performing.
"We're basically doing weekend shows for the rest of the year," said George LeBlanc. "We have 10 or 11 shows scheduled."
Michaels and Poison became famous in 1987 after moving to Los Angeles and promoting their music and videos. In the late 90s, he began doing solo work, but also still toured and recorded with Poison. He is now the frontman for The Bret Michaels Band. And he created The Bret Michaels Life Rocks Foundation, which raises funds for numerous charitable organizations, including money earned from his often sold-out performances. The Fort Myers concert is part of that endeavor.
Previous versions of this story misspelled the last name of Michaels' handler. His name is George LeBlanc, not Lablanc.