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Orianthi

Biography

This young singer/guitarist's resume reads more like a music lover's dream. But like her talent, it's very, very real. Growing up in Adelaide, Australia, Orianthi Panagaris started learning guitar at age six -- the same time she started worshipping guitar gods like Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana, as well as bands Van Halen and Def Leppard. Pretty average so far, right? Well, then it got not-so-average when Santana played a gig in Adelaide and Orianthi -- then 18 -- scored a sound-check jam and then the opportunity to play onstage with her idol. That once-in-a-lifetime chance was followed by once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to play with ZZ Top, Prince and, finally, none other than Michael Jackson. After blowing the King of Pop away with the "Beat It" solo during her audition, Orianthi was hired to play his This Is It concerts in 2009. Jackson passed away before those concerts could occur, but Orianthi played at his memorial service and can be seen in the documentary of the concert rehearsals. That same year, she cemented her own legend as a solo artist, releasing her debut album, Believe, on Geffen.
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