"Let's be honest, I wanted to be a rock star for two reasons," Bret Michaels, 47, told PEOPLE. "To meet women and to live life on my own terms." And he's done just that: The Poison singer fronted one of the biggest glam-metal bands in the '80s, then wooed a new generation of fans with his reality TV show Rock of Love. Now the father of two has hit another milestone: bouncing back from a life-threatening brain hemorrhage. "I am so thankful," he tells PEOPLE. "I'm lucky to be alive."