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Orianthi Panagaris was born in Adelaide, South Australia, and is of Greek and Australian descent. She began playing piano at the age of three and, at the encouragement of her father, moved to acoustic guitar at the age of six. When she was eleven, she took up electric guitar and left her school, Mercedes College, enrolling at Cabra Dominican College. She also attended St Peter's Collegiate Girls' School for a short period. At the age of 15, she turned her focus to writing songs and so began her professional career. She has been playing in bands since the age of 14 and performed in her first stage show for Steve Vai at the age of 15. Orianthi met and jammed with Carlos Santana when she was 18. 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 at his Adelaide concert, Memorial Drive on 30 March 2003.

Orianthi independently released her debut studio album, Violet Journey in 2005, composing all the material, contributing guitar, vocals and drums on most cuts. She produced and mixed the final product at her home studio. Carlos Santana brought Orianthi to Paul Reed Smith's attention which led to her endorsement. Orianthi relocated to Los Angeles, signed with Geffen Records in late 2006 and struck a management deal with 19 Entertainment.

Orianthi has made a commercial for Panasonic HD, featured in the song "Now or Never" for Bratz: The Movie, played at the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival, appeared in The New York Times business section promoting eco-friendly acoustic guitars, and opened for Steve Vai in the US.

Orianthi Panagaris, commonly known as Orianthi, is an Australian guitarist
Orianthi is best known for being Michael Jackson's guitarist for his comeback concert series, This Is It
Orianthi was born in Adelaide, Australia, of half Greek descent
She learned to play the acoustic guitar at six because of her father, started electric when she was eleven and left school at 15 to focus on writing songs and performing
She has been playing in different friends' bands since she was 14 in England and in France
She appeared at the 51st annual Grammy Awards as Carrie Underwood's lead guitarist, with Underwood inviting her to become a member of her band
She played and sang at Jackson's memorial, globally televised live on July 7, 2009
She appears in the film Michael Jackson's This Is It, which chronicles the rehearsals for the tour


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