born on 22/1/1985 in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Alias Orianthi Panagaris


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Orianthi Panagaris (born 22 January 1985), better known by her mononym Orianthi, is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is perhaps best known for being Michael Jackson's lead guitarist for his ill-fated This Is It concert series, and as the lead guitarist in Alice Cooper's live band. Her debut single "According to You" peaked at No. 3 in Japan, No. 8 in Australia and No. 17 in the US; her second album, Believe, received a worldwide release in late 2009. In 2009, Orianthi was named one of the 12 Greatest Female Electric Guitarists by Elle magazine.[1] She also won the award as "Breakthrough Guitarist of the Year" 2010 by Guitar International magazine.[2]

Life and career

Early life

Orianthi Panagaris was born in Adelaide, South Australia, and is of Greek and Australian descent. Orianthi first started learning piano and playing at the age of three and moving to acoustic guitar at the age of six. She learned to play the acoustic guitar at six at the encouragement of her father, started electric when she was eleven and left her school, Mercedes College, enrolling at Cabra Dominican College. At the age of 15, she turned her focus to writing songs and so began her professional career.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

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.[3][6]

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,[3][7] and opened for Steve Vai in the US.


Orianthi appeared at the 51st annual Grammy Awards as Carrie Underwood's lead guitarist,[5][8][9][10] with Underwood inviting Orianthi to become a member of her band.[6] Following that performance in addition to recommendations from industry professionals Michael Jackson's management reached out to Orianthi for an audition for This Is It. Orianthi was hence Michael Jackson's lead guitarist and was present on all rehearsals for his This Is It concerts before his death.[5][6][11] In regard to being handpicked by Jackson, she stated:

She played and sang at Jackson's memorial, globally televised live on 7 July 2009. She appears in the film Michael Jackson's This Is It, which chronicles the rehearsals for the tour and shows her and Michael on stage. She presented an award at the 2009 American Music Awards, which Jackson won posthumously. Orianthi also appears on "We Are the World 25 for Haiti"  with the original co-written and partly performed by Jackson.[12] She plays guitar on the song "Monster" by Michael Jackson featuring 50 Cent which was released on Michael on 14 December 2010.

Solo career/collaborations

Orianthi started working on her major label debut Believe in 2007 which was released in October 2009. The album produced the worldwide hit "According to You", which was the Single of the Week on iTunes on 27 October 2009, reached number 2 on US radio airplay and charted to number eight in Australia, three in Japan, and achieved platinum status in the US and Australia. The charismatic rock instrumental Highly Strung featuring Steve Vai became a popular YouTube video with millions of views and climbing, and her song Suffocated was featured on Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock as a playable song. Orianthi followed up with a four song EP including two singles "Shut Up and Kiss Me" and "Courage".

Orianthi appeared on several late night shows most notably on American Idol results show 26 March 2010. In 2010 she toured extensively with headlining shows in the US, Japan, Australia and Malaysia. She also opened for other artists including: John Mayer,[16] Mika, Kid Rock, Daughtry and over 30 dates for Adam Lamberts Glam Nation Tour with former Idol contestant Allison Iraheta.[17] Orianthi performed at various music festivals and charity functions most notably at the Stand Up to Cancer telethon.

Orianthi has been very prolific in collaborating and being featured by many artists. She is featured on Iraheta's third single "Don't Waste The Pretty"[13] and on Fefe Dobson's song "Can't Breathe"[14] which appears on Dobson's album Joy released in November 2010. She has stated that the people she has collaborated with (i.e. Allison Iraheta and Lacey Mosley) are some of her best friends.

She recorded for the song Saadda Haq composed by Academy award winning composer A.R.Rahman for a Bollywood film soundtrack Rockstar. The song became very popular and lot of media coverage in India came for Orianthi, being cited for her time as Michael Jackson's lead guitarist.[15][16]

On 12 October 2011, the 5 track EP Fire, produced by Dave Stewart was released as an iTunes download.

Her third studio album, Heaven in This Hell, was released on 12 March 2013.[17]

Touring guitarist

On 29 August 2011, Orianthi was announced as Alice Cooper's new guitarist. She replaces Damon Johnson, who is now a member of Thin Lizzy.[18] She is the first female member of the Alice Cooper band. Orianthi has done two world tours with Alice Cooper.

Orianthi has appeared as a guitarist for other stars including shows with Michael Bolton, Dave Stewart and James Durbin. She also appeared on the Top 7 week season 12 of American Idol on April 3, 2013 to play guitar for each of the performances. One month later Orianthi performed Fine China with Chris Brown at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards,[19] and on December 8th of that same year she paid tribute to Carlos Santana, performing in the Kennedy Center Honors Gala.[20]


Orianthi met with Little Kids Rock students at the annual trade show for music merchants (NAMM) in 2010 after they opened for her in front of an eager Anaheim crowd. The kids gave her an acoustic guitar they autographed and she joined LKRs Honorary Board on that special day.[21]


Studio albums

  • Violet Journey (2007)
  • Believe (2009)
  • Heaven in This Hell (2013)


Year EP details
2011 Fire
  • Released: 12 October 2011
  • Label: Self-released


Year Song Peak chart positions Certifications Album
2009 "According to You" 8 3 39 159
17 6 22
  • AUS: Platinum
  • US: Platinum
(and Believe (II))
2010 "Shut Up and Kiss Me" 85 11 38
"Courage" (with Lacey Sturm) 33
2013 "Frozen" Heaven In This Hell
2013 "Sex E Bizarre" (feat. Steven Tyler) Heaven In This Hell (Deluxe Edition)
"" denotes releases that did not chart

Featured songs

Year Song Peak chart Album
2009 "Les Paul Tribute"[29]
(Brian Ray featuring Orianthi)
Non-album single
2010 "Don't Waste the Pretty"
(Allison Iraheta featuring Orianthi)
Just Like You
"Walk This Way"
(David Garrett featuring Orianthi)
Rock Symphonies
2011 "Can't Breathe"
(Fefe Dobson featuring Orianthi)
"Steel Bars"
(Michael Bolton featuring Orianthi)
"Little Sister"
(Tokyo Police Club featuring Orianthi)
"Saadda Haq"
(Mohit Chauhan featuring Orianthi)
"Brand New Wave"
(Kylee featuring Orianthi)
2012 "Girl in a Catsuit"
(Dave Stewart featuring Orianthi)
Ringmaster General
(The Fairchilds featuring Orianthi)
Non-album single
"" denotes releases that did not chart

Studio work

Year Song Peak chart Album
2010 "Stairway to Heaven"
(Mary J. Blige featuring Orianthi)
Stronger with Each Tear
"Set It on Fire"
(My Darkest Days featuring Orianthi)
My Darkest Days
(Michael Jackson featuring 50 Cent and Orianthi)
(Adam Lambert featuring Orianthi)
90 For Your Entertainment
"" denotes releases that did not chart

Songs in other media

Year Song Media Type
2007 "Now or Never" Bratz: The Movie Movie soundtrack
2010 "According to You" Rock Band 2[32] Music game
iPhone Six String App[33] Mobile game
Dance Dance Revolution[34] Music game
Kinect Dance Paradise[35] Music game
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation TV series episode: Lost and Found and World's End
Dancing with the Stars (U.S. season 11) TV series episode: Week 6
Disney Sing It: Party Hits[36] Music game
U-Sing 2 Wii Australian Edition Music game
"Suffocated" Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock[37] Music game
"Sunshine of Your Love" Nissan Juke TV commercial
2011 "Believe" American Idol Season 10 TV series episode: Hollywood Week round 2
"All Right Now" Hyundai TV commercial
2012 "Neo Universe" L'Arc-en-Ciel Tribute Tribute Album

Music videos

Year Song Director
2007 "Now or Never" (promotional video) Unknown
2009 "According to You" Marc Klasfeld
2010 "Highly Strung"
(with Steve Vai)
"We Are the World 25 for Haiti"
(with Artists for Haiti)
Paul Haggis
"Shut Up and Kiss Me" Ray Kay
(with Lacey Sturm)
Scott Speer
2012 "Girl in a Catsuit"
(Dave Stewart featuring Orianthi)
Chris Champeau
(The Fairchilds featuring Orianthi)
Adam Rothlein
2013 "Heaven in This Hell" Paul Boyd


Year Film Role Notes
2009 Rock Prophecies Herself Brief appearance
Michael Jackson's This Is It Jackson's guitarist

Awards and nominations

Year Type Award Result
2009 Elle Magazine 12 Best Female Electric Guitar Players[38] Won
2010 Nickelodeon Australian Kids Choice Awards 2010 Fresh Aussie Musos[39] Nominated
Billboard Japan Music Awards 2010 Top Pop Artist 2010 Nominated
Guitar International Magazine Breakthrough Guitarist of the Year 2010[2] Won
2011 25th Japan Gold Disc Award 2010 The Best 3 New Artists (International)[40] Won
Tokio Hot 100 Awards 2010 Best New Artist[41] Nominated
2011 BMI Pop Music Awards Award-Winning Songs According to You[42] Won
Gibson Guitars Guitar Gals: The Top 10 Female Guitar Players of All Time[43] Won
2013 WiMN - She Rocks Awards Inspire Award[44] Won



  • PRS Custom 22
  • PRS Custom 24
  • PRS SE Custom 24
  • PRS SE Singlecut
  • Jackson KV2& KV5 (Discontinued)
  • Jackson DX10 (Discontinued)
  • Ibanez RG Series (Discontinued)
  • Gibson Les Paul (Early)
  • Gibson SG (Early)
  • Garrison & Taylor Acoustics
  • Duesenberg Starplayer TV gift from Dave Stewart
  • PRS SE Orianthi (her own signature SE model)

She also has a special private stock PRS Custom 24 guitar, nicknamed "MJ", made for the "This Is It" concerts. This one of a kind guitar is decorated with Swarovski crystals.[45]


  • EVH 5150III
  • ENGL (This Is It)
  • Mesa Boogie
  • Marshall Amplifiers


  1. 12 Greatest Female Electric Guitarists. Elle. Retrieved on 22 October 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Guitar Awards 2010 : Guitar News. Guitarinternational.com (10 October 2011). Retrieved on 14 October 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Age Article: "Lady plays the blues: Santana among fans" Patrick Donovan 7 July 2007"
  4. Adelaide musician Orianthi was Michael Jackson's guitarist, 5 July 2009. URL accessed on 17 October 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Blog Archive Michael Jackson and that blond guitarist. Anderson Cooper 360. CNN.com Blogs. Retrieved on 25 December 2010.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Jackson rehearsal video guitarist discovered by LI's Vai. Newsday.com (10 July 2009). Retrieved on 25 December 2010.
  7. [1]
  8. CarrieNEWS: Carrie Underwood's Grammys guitarist: Who was that?. Newsfeed.carrienews.com (8 February 2009). Retrieved on 25 December 2010.
  9. News : Rating the Grammys: Alison Krauss and Robert Plant Rule. CMT (9 February 2009). Retrieved on 25 December 2010.
  10. [2]
  11. Who's Michael Jackson's guitarist? Meet Orianthi Panagaris. MusicRadar.com (3 July 2009). Retrieved on 25 December 2010.
  12. Orianthi gets We Are The World call-up, 2 February 2010. URL accessed on 25 December 2010.
  13. Allison Iraheta "Don't Waste the Pretty" Feat. Orianthi New Song". aolradioblog.com (4 June 2010). Retrieved on 6 June 2010.
  14. BestFan.com BestFan.com. Retrieved on 25 December 2010.
  15. MJ's lead guitarist plays for Ranbir!, 30 September 2011. URL accessed on 14 October 2011.
  16. MJ's female guitarist strums for Rockstar, 30 September 2011. URL accessed on 14 October 2011.
  17. Orianthi Announces Release Date for New Solo CD, 'Heaven in This Hell', Guitar World, 28 January 2013. URL accessed on 2 February 2013.
  18. Orianthi Joins Alice Coopers Band. Gibson.com. Retrieved on 14 October 2011.
  19. http://www.billboard.com/articles/events/bbma-2013/1563585/10-awesome-2013-billboard-music-awards-performances-watch
  20. http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/specialevents/honors/
  21. http://www.littlekidsrock.org/friends/our-big-fans/orianthi/
  22. Orianthi discography. Hung Medien. Retrieved on 12 March 2010.
  23. You must specify title = and url = when using {{cite web}}.. Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved on 7 March 2011.
  24. Orianthi discography. Hung Medien. Retrieved on 7 March 2011.
  25. You must specify title = and url = when using {{cite web}}.. Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved on 7 March 2011.
  26. You must specify title = and url = when using {{cite web}}.. Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved on 30 December 2011.
  27. You must specify title = and url = when using {{cite web}}.. Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved on 7 March 2011.
  28. Zywietz, Tobias. Chart Log UK Update 18.09.2010. Zobbel. Retrieved on 17 February 2011.
  29. Les Paul Tribute, Gibson. URL accessed on 31 January 2011.
  30. You must specify title = and url = when using {{cite web}}.. Billboard. Retrieved on 26 May 2011.
  31. Zywietz, Tobias. Chart Log UK Update 25.12.2010. Zobbel. Retrieved on 17 February 2011.
  32. Rock Band 2 DLC. Retrieved on 5 January 2011.
  33. iPhone Six String App. Retrieved on 5 January 2011.
  34. Dance Dance Revolution. Retrieved on 5 January 2011.
  35. Kinect Dance Paradise. Retrieved on 26 January 2011.
  36. Disney Sing It: Party Hits DLC. Retrieved on 24 February 2011.
  37. Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. Retrieved on 5 January 2011.
  38. Elle. Retrieved on 5 January 2011.
  39. Knox, David (16 August 2010).Kids Choice Awards: 2010 Nominees. tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  40. 25th Japan Gold Disc Award 2010. Tokyo Hive. Retrieved on 28 February 2011.
  41. Tokio Hot 100 Awards 2010. Tokyo Hive. Retrieved on 28 February 2011.
  42. 2011 BMI Pop Music Awards Award-Winning Songs. BMI. Retrieved on 20 May 2011.
  43. Gibson Guitars. Retrieved on 1 June 2011.
  44. WiMN. Retrieved on 1 March 2013.
  45. www.prsguitars.com Quote: "Orianthi posed for the cover of Believe holding a whale blue Custom 24 completely covered in Swarovski crystals. The guitar was custom made for the Michael Jackson tour and was nicknamed MJ by Orianthi.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Orianthi

  • Official website
  • Orianthi channel at YouTube
  • Orianthi at MySpace
  • Orianthi on Twitter
  • Orianthi at the Internet Movie Database
  • Orianthi's page at 19 Entertainment

Alice Cooper
List of Alice Cooper personnel
Alice Cooper discography
U.S. Top 40 Singles: Eighteen | School's Out | Elected | Hello Hurray | No More Mr. Nice Guy | Only Women Bleed | I Never Cry | You And Me | How You Gonna See Me Now | Clones (We're All)
Alice Cooper filmography
DVDs: Good To See You Again, Alice Cooper | Brutally Live | Welcome to My Nightmare | Prime Cuts | The Nightmare Returns Tour | Alice Cooper Trashes the World | Live at Montreux, 2005
This page was last modified 20.04.2014 16:48:10

This article uses material from the article Orianthi from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.