Bret Michaels says he has nothin' to apologize for about "Nothin' to Lose," his new song featuring Miley Cyrus. In the country-rock ballad that went online Thursday, Cyrus, 17, harmonizes as Michaels, 46, croons about a bad romance: "We both know better than this/Still we can't resist/Slowly get undressed." In the sensual chorus, they sing together: "Won't you fall down on me/So close I can feel you breathe."
In an exclusive interview Friday, Michaels tells UsMagazine.com he's gotten "75 texts" about the scandal that blazed the web late Thursday. "I was like, 'What the f*ck is going on?' Everyone's going nuts!"
"It's blown out of proportion," insists the father of two girls (Raine, 9, and Jorja, 4).
The Rock of Love star and Poison frontman explains that he wrote the song "a couple years ago," and had recorded it solo without Cyrus.
But the Hannah Montana star wanted to remake his gritty classic "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" for her next album, with the elder rocker as her producer. When the teen phenom recorded "Rose" in a New York studio with her mother Tisch standing by, Michaels played them "Nothin' to Lose" during a break.
"[Miley's] like, 'This is an incredible song, it's beautiful. Maybe I could some stuff to it, some harmonies,'" Michaels recounts. "I said, 'That'd be killer!'"
The next thing they knew, the unlikely pair were recording "Nothin'" together. "She was excited that she didn't have to follow any rules," he says of their impromptu jam session.
What about, you know, that "slowly get undressed" stuff? "I never sat down and said, 'Look at the content. Look at the lyrical content,'" Michaels admits.
In his defense, he adds that "the part where it says she slowly gets undressed, Miley says, 'Yeah she does.' It has no reference to her and I. It's not even a duet." He says he got "very positive comments" (no one advised him against it) on the finished track, which will appear on his solo album Custom Built, out in late May.
"As God is my witness, there is nothing I have to be defensive about," he says. "I'm a good Dad. I just thought it was a beautiful song. "
He adds that he and Cyrus are mutual fans of each other. "Her first concert ever was Poison. Now I take my kids and they go see her play. It's awesome!"