From the sun-kissed shores of Adelaide, Australia, to the glittering global stages alongside music legends, Orianthi Penny Panagaris, universally known as Orianthi, has carved a niche few can rival. Her journey, marked by dedication, passion, and unparalleled talent, is a testament to what can be achieved when one’s love for music knows no bounds.

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Born into a Greek family in Adelaide, Orianthi’s tryst with music began at the tender age of three with the piano. But it was at six, when her father put an acoustic guitar in her hands, that she found her true calling. This wasn’t just a fleeting childhood hobby; it was the beginning of an illustrious career. Her father’s rich record collection, boasting names like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Santana, and BB King, became her early tutors. She didn’t just listen; she immersed herself, learning, adapting, wearing down the grooves in the records, and making each note her own.

A pivotal moment came at age 11 when she witnessed Carlos Santana live. The experience was transformative. “That show really affected me,” Orianthi recalls. Her admiration for Santana was so profound that she transitioned from an acoustic to a Paul Reed Smith guitar, aiming to emulate her idol.

By 15, she had already begun her professional journey, playing in local Adelaide cover bands and opening for legends like Steve Vai and ZZ Top. Her relationship with these icons wasn’t fleeting; Steve Vai became a mentor, and she still maintains close ties with Billy Gibbons.

At 18, after sending Carlos Santana her first CD, “Under the Influence,” she was invited to share the stage with him during his Adelaide concert. By 20, Orianthi was ready to make her mark with original music. Her second independent CD, “Violet Journey,” showcased her versatility, not just as a guitarist but as a multi-instrumentalist. Her talent caught the attention of Universal Records at the 2006 NAMM show, leading to a major record deal.

Her big break on the global stage came in 2009 when she performed alongside Carrie Underwood at the Grammy Awards. This performance caught the eye of none other than Michael Jackson. Orianthi was chosen as the lead guitarist for his “This Is It” concert series, joining the ranks of guitar legends like Eddie Van Halen and Slash, who had previously collaborated with the King of Pop. Though the world tragically lost Michael Jackson soon after, Orianthi’s time with him was transformative. “Working with Michael was a life-changing experience,” she reflects.

But while her collaborations with music legends are noteworthy, it’s Orianthi’s solo career that truly sets her apart. Her debut album “Believe” in 2009 gave us the platinum single “According To You.” This was just the beginning. Over the years, Orianthi has showcased her growth not just as a guitarist but as a singer, songwriter, and bandleader. Her music, a blend of rock, blues, country, and pop, resonates with audiences worldwide.

Her journey from a young guitar enthusiast in Adelaide to a global rock sensation is inspiring. But it’s her evolution as a singer, songwriter, and bandleader that truly cements her legacy in the annals of rock history.

Orianthi’s journey is not just about her incredible guitar skills. It’s about her evolution as an artist, her ability to adapt and grow, and her insatiable hunger to produce music that resonates. As “Guitar Planet Magazine” aptly puts it, “At heart, Orianthi is a staggeringly dexterous player, capable of mastering next to any style and out shredding anyone.”

In an industry that often typecasts artists, Orianthi stands tall, proving that with passion, dedication, and hard work, one can transcend genres and expectations. As she gears up to take her music on a global tour, one thing is clear: Orianthi is not just a musician; she’s a force of nature.\

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