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Bret Michaels, Kristi Gibson call off engagement

Singer Bret Michaels and Kristi Gibson at the

Singer Bret Michaels and Kristi Gibson at the Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night XVII in Phoenix. (March 19, 2011) Credit: AP

Poison lead vocalist and reality-show star Bret Michaels and his longtime girlfriend, Kristi Gibson, have called off their engagement.

"Although the couple have separated they remain great friends and are committed to jointly raising their two daughters," Raine Elizabeth, 12, and Jorja Bleu, 7, Michaels' publicist, Joanna Mignano, said in a statement Monday.

Michaels, 49, wrote on his official website, "With all that Kristi, Raine, Jorja and I are going through, no doubt this is a very difficult time for all of us. I want all of you to know that Kristi and I remain great friends and committed loving parents to our daughters. I am blessed to have someone as great as Kristi in my life in any capacity."

Michaels and Gibson, 41, who have been together on and off for nearly 18 years, became engaged on Dec. 2, 2010. His proposal aired 18 days later on the finale of his VH1 reality show, "Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It."

"I bought you that ring, not to be a friendship with benefits . . . we've had that for a while," Michaels told her as he proposed. "I love you and I respect you and you've been through so much with me," he continued. "It means something to me."

The "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" singer had a series of health scares that year, including an emergency appendectomy, brain hemorrhage, mini-stroke and discovery of a hole in his heart that required surgery to repair.

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