Orianthi Panagaris or Orianthi is an Australian guitarist of Greek ancestry. She learned to play the acoustic guitar at six, started electric when she was eleven and left school at 15 to focus on writing songs and performing. She has been playing in different bands since she was 14 around Adelaide and her first support show was for Steve Vai when she was 15.
Orianthi had the opportunity to meet and jam with Carlos Santana when she was 18 in her hometown. He invited Orianthi to get up and jam with him at soundcheck then later asked if she would join him on stage that night to jam. Orianthi signed with Geffen Records, and is living in Los Angeles and making a new record. Orianthi has played with Prince, toured with Steve Vai, made a video clip for Panasonic HD, had a song on the Bratz movie, played at the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival and appeared in the New York Times business section promoting Eco-friendly acoustic guitars.
She has also appeared at the 51st annual Grammys with Carrie Underwood where she was Underwood's lead guitar player. At the Grammys, Underwood invited Orianthi to become a member of her band. As a member of Michael Jackson's band she was to replace Jennifer Batten who had performed with Jackson for almost a decade. Orianthi has recorded the album "Violet Journey". She has also recorded a second album name yet unknown of which the first single "According To You" is out on October first.
Orianthi was Michael Jackson's lead guitarist and was present on all rehearsals for his 'This is it' tour before his death.. She played and sang at Jackson's memorial on July 7th 2009.