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Friday, February 26, 2021

Orianthi Panagaris

Guitarist for Michael Jackson

If you thought that rock guitar was a thing of the past, think again. Orianthi Panagaris, or just Orianth as she is known, is one of the best guitarist playing today. Probably best known for her performance in Michael Jackson's tribute movie, "This Is It", Orianthi is a force to be reckoned with. And she has some big names behind her.

At 24 years old, Orianthi has already experienced what most aspiring musicians only dream of. She's opened for her hero (Steve Vai), backed an Idol (Carrie Underwood), traded solos with a legend (Carlos Santana) and shared the stage with the King of Pop (Michael Jackson). What's left to conquer? The world stage, for one, and this guitar wunderkind has her sights clearly set on the road ahead.

After a performance with Carrie Underwood on stage at the 2009 Grammy Awards the blogosphere was buzzing with news of this little-known guitar prodigy. It prompted Michael Jackson to call with an offer for her to be his guitarist for his dates at the O2 Arena in London. When offered the gig in Michael Jackson’s live band, Orianthi joined a prestigious line of guitar players including Eddie Van Halen, Santana, Slash, Steve Stevens, Jennifer Batten and Larry Carlton. Sadly the tour was not to be and music lost an icon. “Working with Michael was a life-changing experience,” Orianthi reflects, “One I will never forget.”

But guitar is far from Orianthi’s only means of expression. Before she received the call from the King of Pop, Orianthi had already been hard at work on her upcoming album, Believe, on which she sings, writes and leads her own band. Working with Geffen Records Chairman and A&R veteran Ron Fair and producer Howard Benson (All American Rejects, Daughtry, My Chemical Romance, Three Days Grace) her fierceness of character has made its way to songs that will simply knock the socks off of any boy in the rock star schoolyard.

Orianthi packs modern girl-power punch into every turn of phrase, but it’s the shredding that takes her brand of rock to an entirely new level. Songs like “Suffocated” and “Think Like A Man” are anthemic rock tracks recalling at time Evanescence, Avril Lavigne, Paramore and even a less-music row more-sunset strip Taylor Swift. First single “According To You” is a catchy tale of an ungrateful boyfriend with a killer guitar solo. The result: a thunderous, hook and riff driven debut that sounds larger than life.

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