Millions have watched the AEG video of Michael Jackson's final rehearsal, shot two days before his death. Well it now emerges that the blonde guitarist who jammed with Jackson in the clip (below) is in fact an Australian – 24 year-old Orianthi Panagaris. Born in Adelaide, Panagaris picked up the acoustic guitar at six, the electric guitar at 11, by 15 was writing and performing - and has been described by The New York Times as a Carlos Santana protégé. The pair met - and jammed - while Santana was touring Australia and the following quote from Santana appears on Panagaris’ MySpace page: “If I was going to pass the baton to somebody, she would be my first choice”.
Signed with 19 Recordings/Geffen Records and currently recording an album in LA, Panagaris says she has also jammed with Prince and toured with Steve Vai. In February she performed on stage with Carrie Underwood at the Grammys.
Panagaris' big Jackson gig might have just evaporated, but frockwriter predicts it won’t be long before she is no longer an unknown outside music circles (just try a Google News search on her full name - nada, at time of writing). And all thanks to Jackson, whose last moments as a performer she had the extraordinary privilege to share.
On July 3, Panagaris noted on Twitter:
“looking back on some wonderful memories and feeling really sad, MJ was ready and was taken far too soon,he was such a wonderful person.r.i.p”
first video blog