Orianthi: michael jackson, orianthi to play at last farewell

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Australian guitarist to perform at farewell... THE blonde guitarist who featured in the final video of Michael Jackson rehearsing before his death has been revealed as an Adelaide girl.

Orianthi Panagaris, of Hawthorn, has told of her devastation over the King of Pop's death late last month, the Sunday Mail reports.

The South Australian-born musician, who is known professionally as Orianthi, will perform at Jackson's public memorial on Wednesday.

She said she had grown close to the superstar since joining his This Is It comeback tour and features prominently in the video of Jackson's final Los Angeles rehearsal, recorded two days before his death, that has been shown extensively around the world.

"He had this wonderful aura about him, a beautiful spirit," Orianthi said yesterday.

"It's been a surreal time working with him and it's devastating what's happened."

Orianthi, 24, was a key part of the concert marathon, which was to have begun in London on July 13.
She had been rehearsing with Jackson six days a week for the past three months.

Jackson can be seen dancing with her during the song They Don't Care About Us as she plays an intricate guitar solo.

"We practised so much and knew the songs so well," she said.

"Because we rehearsed so much . . . we knew the parts like the back of our hands," she said.

For Orianthi, the chance to play with one of the world's greatest-ever entertainers was a major coup. "It was so surreal, I'm a big fan," she said.
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