July 3rd, 2009
09:05 PM ET

Michael Jackson and that blond guitarist

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/03/art.jackson.guitarist.jpg caption="Michael Jackson rocking out with Orianthi during a rehearsal for his London comeback ."]

Asia Lindsay
AC360° Intern

Who is the blond female guitarist Michael Jackson dances with in the videotaped dress rehearsal for his tour - just two days before he died?

She is Orianthi Panagaris, an Australian guitarist who has recorded her own work and also played with Santana and also with Carrie Underwood at the Grammys.

She calls herself just Orianthi, and now she has been thrust into the limelight.

Orianthi has declined to talk about Jackson since his death, but here's what she tweeted:

“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”

We feel the same way, Orianthi.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Michael Jackson
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. RaeAnna

    Michael came to my country...Trinidad... when he was with the Jackson 5. He's huge everywhere it seems, music will never be the same. It surely is nice to know what a beautiful soul he was and how many people loved him for his great work both with the entertainment industry as well as charity. He's just one of those persons you can't help but love. After all the vicious rumours and everything he had to go through, I think it's safe to say MJ can finally rest in peace. We'll never forget him.

    July 4, 2009 at 3:03 am |
  2. DaniSu

    Nice to know Michael had an Australian connection in his last days 🙂
    Melbourne, Australia

    July 4, 2009 at 2:25 am |
  3. dev

    its not right to say what his personel life was but its right to say that he was very good at the public and the people he care.

    he loved his fans and freinds,

    jacko is not wacko,

    god may help u and rest in peace micheal,


    July 4, 2009 at 1:34 am |
  4. Kim marino

    such talent. Shame on his father

    July 4, 2009 at 1:19 am |
  5. tracey dumais

    micheal had such colassal talent, and so many have spoken of his kindness with the press and fans. he seemed so shy and yet on stage and in his videos he was this whole other persona. i hope now he at least has peace and has no idea of the havoc that he's left behind.....r.i.p micheal

    July 4, 2009 at 1:19 am |
  6. Tracey Bonner

    I grew up listening to the Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson. I am very saddened of his death. I will miss him and remember him forever. I know that one day we will all meet again, and maybe there is a place in Heaven where we can have a big concert with Michael again.
    RIP MJ.

    July 4, 2009 at 1:08 am |
  7. SandraWI

    She rocks. I was happy to see a female guitarist kicking butt like that again. Michael knows talent when he hears it. He sounded great too.

    July 4, 2009 at 1:05 am |
  8. Adina Maz

    What a shame that an absolute genius like MICHAEL JACKSON has to die in order for his greatness to be known and admited by the whole world why couldn' t this happen while he was in life, maybe that would have inspired him to fight for his life and take better care of his health.He needed to know how much he was loved , because he felt lonely , missunderstood and hurt by people.Unfortunately now it`s too late, the whole love in the world won`t bring him back and we all suffered a huge loss in my opinion the bigest one after that of Jesus Christ. May God rest his soul in peace and suround it with HIS love and grace.

    July 4, 2009 at 12:58 am |
  9. Awilda figueroa

    It hurts me so much from my soul that mj is gone from this world. He was a beautiful person. Dont forget no one is perfect. I will always love u micheal I hope and pray his children will not get seperated.

    July 4, 2009 at 12:57 am |
  10. Clarissa

    His music broke down so many people world wide. For those that got to perform with him (dance, sing, play guitar, etc) I know it was indescribable.

    RIP Michael. You are truly missed.

    July 4, 2009 at 12:54 am |
  11. Dru from MI

    The outpouring of love and admiration for MJ is a wonderful thing to see. It is so sad that so many people including some reporters are working overtime to tear him down with lies and speculations. Mj was not God, and a line from one of his songs said it best ," Im only human", he made mistakes. He devoted his life to bringing joy to us, and he may have hurt himself in the process. What does it say about all of you that are determined to destroy his name, especially when he is not here to defend himself.

    July 4, 2009 at 12:46 am |
  12. rachael weiss

    MJ looked great! Amazing duo.....I loved the last piece of his work....He will be missed.....God bless him....

    July 4, 2009 at 12:38 am |
  13. Michelle

    It makes me sad to see all the people coming out of the woodwork, claiming things about MJ. If you had the chance to purchase a MJ's concrrt ticket, would you keep it, or return it for a refund? I personnaly would keep mine thank you

    July 4, 2009 at 12:24 am |
  14. dee

    I was always a Michael Jackson fan he was one of the most perfect celerity in my eyes I ever followed on TV I always felt like I kinda knew or should I say felt some of the things he felt with all the emotional problems he had I would have never in my wildest dreams would I have never believed he had a drug problem I just don't understand this mess I sure he did have a messed up life childhood but I never believed any of the molesting charges or do I believe he had this bad of a drug problem and nobody wouldn't do anything to help this man ,,,a man I truly from the bottom of my heart I thought I loved everything about him sometimes all I had was a dream that he was going to come sweep me off my feet and take me away to neverland someday's that was the only thought that kept me going with my own life.and I have had a lot of demons to battle but I never turned to drugs I have shed so many tears but I would have given anything I own to in some way or some how tried to help him.. I know one thing I would not gave up on him ..cause his music never gave up on me he did so much good for this world somebody please give me a reason why ? cause~ im missing my baby~

    July 4, 2009 at 12:24 am |
  15. Tessa AuClaire

    Michael touched so many people in the short life he had. I pray for Michael and for Michael's family, especially his children. You are with the angels now MJ, where you deserve to be. RIP

    July 4, 2009 at 12:18 am |
  16. Julia, Seattle

    It's been said so many times already that Michael's music is "the soundtrack of our lives" but it is so very fitting. I grew up loving him, my two sons did, and now my 1 year old grandson is rocked to sleep with "Man in the Mirror".

    Rest–finally–in Peace, Michael.

    July 4, 2009 at 12:12 am |
  17. greg ginsburg

    I would like to remember MJ for the gift that he gave the world...his music. the rest is non of our business. rip. mj.

    July 4, 2009 at 12:08 am |
  18. huckfinn28

    What about the Soldier who was captured in Afghanistan? I think we've killed the MJ thing here. How about some real news? About real heros? Who is he and what is the situation? There are so many blogs on MJ, what about a Soldiers possible last minutes?

    July 4, 2009 at 12:07 am |
  19. Julie

    I wish the people reporting on or featured on these news casts could show some kind of respect for Michael's family as they mourn this tragic loss. Michael gave so much to so many – why don't you focus on all the good that he did, or tried to do? He brought more happiness to the world, and to so many children in particular. I cannot imagine how much money he spent to make sure that sick or disadvantaged children had an hour, a day of happiness, or a life-saving surgery, or food... Why must we always focus on the negative?

    I'm from his home state, and am only five years older than him. I literally grew up so proud that he was born a Hoosier, and I've defended him and will continue to do so until I leave this world. This wonderful person was simply too good for this world.

    July 3, 2009 at 11:56 pm |
  20. Sumit Sampat

    I believe Orianthi is extremely talented. MJ' s rehearsal album is really catchy. I believe it will break all records. MJ was an amazing talent. The intensity with which he performed was incredible. Like everyone, humans are not perfect and we all make mistakes and MJ was no exception. May his soul rest in peace. He will be remembered for his amazing talent and the joy he brought to people. God bless.

    July 3, 2009 at 11:50 pm |
  21. Ana

    Michael will live forever and ever no matter where he is! His path in this world has put a permanent print in our hearts... Just wished all of our love,wishes, and thoughts were enough to keep him away from the long term drug abuse he put his body, starting with his mind, through.

    Joe Jackson on the other hand (cold evil soul) put a vicious, deep scar in those boys hearts ... Michael survived and thrived; but I think he never felt comfortable with true love from his fans, praises, and fame. He never stopped asking too much from himself, therefore never find satisfaction no matter how much he did or how much he tried. He had to, at all times, be perfect... Never let his guard down. How can one sleep in peace like that?

    Michael grew up in fear, and unwillingly, also from us, the fans! He feared to fail to provide ultimate the best to all peoples of all colors... He never had time to accept who he was in his depth and purity of his beatiful self, just the way he was.

    Michael could stand in any crowd and proudly say: "I'm Michael Jackson, there is and there will never be anyone like me, and I am fearless"! – He needed to believe that himself in order to act that way... But he was so shy, and almost frighttened by everything around him ... Except when he performed ... But not even Michael Jackson could perform 24 hours a day... He too, needed to sleep! So, sleep in peace forever our King of Pop... May Michael find his

    July 3, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  22. dee simmons

    MJ was big, bigger than anyone really knew I think and he was taken too soon and too tradgically. The world was a better place with him in it. He will truly be missed by so many! We love u Michael!

    July 3, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  23. ANGEL

    ANNA NICOLE SMITH was also that way , a sensitive spirit . And she got treated badly by the world , the same way , as well . : ( Sad , very very sad .

    July 3, 2009 at 11:40 pm |
  24. Michael - MO

    That concert would have been Awesome!

    July 3, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  25. A.J.

    It's really sad that he died. I guess this shows why you shouldn't abuse even prescription drugs.


    July 3, 2009 at 11:34 pm |
  26. ANGEL

    " ALL i WANNA SAY IS THAT THEY DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT US ! " -- So many meanings in that and applies to so many situations and things . I know how you must've felt Michael . Not being understood by the world . She must feel so lucky to have worked with him . What a cool experience for her , huh ?! Michael was so sensitive , that , unless you are like that also , you have nooooooooo IDEA what it feels like from the inside . Bless your soul and spirit , MICHAEL ! RIP !

    July 3, 2009 at 11:34 pm |
  27. Linda

    Michael was a great dancer. Hope there is a movie made from the rehearsals. Would pay just about anything to see it.

    July 3, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  28. Kitty Williams

    Thank you Ms. Panagaris for your words on Michael, you said what a lot of his fans are feeling. Michael loved this earth and its inhabitants unconditionally.

    July 3, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  29. steven

    hello anderson you and larry have been doing a great job on Cnn. pls to my own point of view the Doc dat was on Jackson the day he died know alot about his died.

    July 3, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  30. Greenwich Diva, Greenwich, CT

    The ones who truly cared about MJ are not rushing to do interviews. I am happy she is not speaking to the media, the people who are claiming to love MJ are taking advantage of his death for personal and professional gain.
    Shame on Joe Jackson, Jermaine Jackson and Debbie Rowe!

    July 3, 2009 at 11:22 pm |
  31. Kezia, NY

    I wish MJ had received this kind of love when he was alive... Too many people took him for granted and just looked for ways to make fun of him and make him into a freak when really he was just a human being trying to keep up with what the public demanded of him. A lot of people say they loved him but still made jokes, this is ridiculous to me... Love should be expressed and seen and heard and uninfluenced by popular opinion.
    He was a talented, inventive, pioneer of music who loved and wanted to be loved back just as much. It breaks my heart to think that even with his millions of fans he felt alone and music was his only real friend.
    There will never be another like him...
    R.I.P. MJ, you'll be missed, you were loved.

    July 3, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  32. Bumpkin

    Good Day....I am happy to see Michael Jackson was doing what he really loved and enjoyed on his last rehearsal. I pray that maybe this video can be used to give him the tribute in life after his death. He was a very sweet person, genuine at heart, loved children and really wanted to heal this world, this was his purpose for being here on earth, but often in this life he was mistreated lied on and his gifts and talents maybe now will finally be recognized. Michael Jackson would have loved to see the fans that truly loved him in America. May his legacy live on.....in America and all over the world.....

    July 3, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  33. Rebecca

    Anderson: Propofol is a powerful sedative/anesthetic used in the hospital setting only. It puts the patient in a drug induced coma. They are usually intubated, while receiving propofol because the drug can cause respiratory suppression.

    There have been reports that he used propofol during his last tour. I believe this was true so he could meet the physical demands placed on his body daily which was coupled with insomnia. Can you imagine performing every other night for months to the level in which he performed. What he did right the first time, and unfortunately failed to do with this tour was he hired an anesthesiologist last time. Anesthesiologists administer this drug daily, several times a day for every surgery they are part of. They are very familiar with it.

    He trusted the wrong guy with his life! He found a cardiologist who was willing to be his private MD and who agreed to administer propofol every night after his performance (and obviously even rehearsals ) so he could "sleep" and recover from the night before. He left the theater at 12:30am, went home, and "needed" his 8 hours of sleep. Dr. X who unfortunately was a cardiologist, not an anesthesiologist, administered propofol, but failed to monitor him correctly. You need an oxygen saturation probe which measures the oxygen level in your blood (this drug can cause respiratory supression). If you stop breathing your oxygen level will decrease and the monitoring device would alarm. Perhaps Dr. X didn't put on the Saturation probe? Propofol is also a weight based drug... ie it is administered in a dosage/kg of body weight/ minute of a continuous IV infusion. Perhaps he gave him too much. Respiratory arrest, leads to Cardiac Arrest!

    My prediction.... manslaughter. This MD should be held accountable for administering this drug outside of the hospital setting. This is truly malpractice, Illegal, and unforgivable. I hope they hold him accountable. He didn't have to die! It's a shame.

    July 3, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  34. Anthony Ching

    Michael Jackson was known to giving unknown musicians or dancers a break doing his shows. He understands their willingness to be the very best of their talents. This would of been a great opportunity for the entire show's musicians and performers. It's sad that what was going to be one of the greatest shows on earth will never be seen by Michael Jackson fans. So sad.

    July 3, 2009 at 11:10 pm |
  35. Marie Anne Sam - Alabang in the Philippines

    MJ like any of us - had his so-called 'human lapses' - but the legacy that he left us through his music is more than enough for the world to see how awesome he is as a person! Hope the negative talks about him will stop - and we should only see the 'bright side' of Michael Jackson and his music! - I love you, MJ and R.I.P. wherever you ARE! 🙂

    July 3, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  36. Sonjanita Moore

    My grandma and spiritual teachers always said that "to whom much is given much is expected". Perhaps MJ was one such person. Most geniuses are conflicted & deeply troubled. It's the price of genius. Poor soul. I feel bad that we are all complicit in Michael's death – we all wanted so much from him. I'm sorry Michael, R.I.P.

    July 3, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  37. Monique

    Michael Jackson was a very secial person who the right things to say to touch our hearts. He had a beautiful spirit. Rest In Peace Michael. You are truly missed.

    July 3, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  38. Sabrina in Las Vegas

    I remember going to my friends studio in LA and listening to them jam with some big names that would just walk in.

    It is cool and fun.

    I think she enjoyed working with such a talented person and this personally touched her because of it.

    July 3, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  39. jb3cth

    I just dnt understand..yes, he was a great artist, but he was also suspected of child molestation. When does fame and money exempt one from punishment, and make everyone turn their head?? Amazing!

    July 3, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  40. tmgesq

    I loved MJJ so much. Seems like he had such a wonderful spirit, and everyone who worked with him have so much love and respect for him! This still hurts so much to lose this talented human being. May God bless Michael's family, especially his 3 children and give them peace. We will miss you so much, MJJ – the greatest entertainer of all time!

    July 3, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  41. lisa

    some great wonderful memories

    July 3, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  42. rhonda

    rip mike

    will miss you

    July 3, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  43. Dianne Ruffin

    What I do not understand is if he was given this "drug" how could he have been so active on tour and during his rehearsals. After you take anesthetic drug you are like a zombie and can't really rememeber anything and it takes 24 hours to recover. People won't think about these things. And also your throat would be sore because you need breathing tubes to use the drug. Come on doctors think about the obvious if you are really doctors. They slandered his name while living and are slandering it now that he is gone. No real proof of his using it just he say she say. I still think the same about him no matter how they try to distroy his name.

    R.I.P. MJ

    July 3, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  44. ossileleandre

    michaeljackson was ahoroes in music no body well ever forgat about michaeljackson michaeljackson it there best inmusic i renember 1983 billie jean can out evely one in my count dance everly corn all chidl adult dancemichaeljackson mouve i mis he dipply and my preye go to is family in hes chidlls me good bless hen

    July 3, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  45. Rebecca Sanchez

    Michael's soul that was shared with his fan was a loving soul a giving soul and we will all remember and say thank you for sharing your life with the world. Only Michael was able to stop the news for a whole week, imagine, Elvis couldn't do that!

    Thank you Michale,

    Rebecca, Miami

    July 3, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  46. Rachelle (Michigan)

    THANK YOU for telling us who she is. I was going to google to find out who she is, but here is her info on AC360. Thank You Anderson!! She ROCKS!!! Her guitar playing is super-delicious !!!! I saw her on some of MJ's video's, in particular the SUPERBOWL video's on UTUBE, with wild blonde hair, which makes her stand out, in addition to her superdelicious guitar playing. Thank you for telling us who she is!!!

    July 3, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  47. Isabel, Brazil

    Beautiful scene of MJ dancing with Orianthi plays guitar. Very sad and touching!

    July 3, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  48. sara zabelnski

    I´m afraid he will be exploited in death as he was in life....shame on everyone....especially Joe Jackson.......

    July 3, 2009 at 9:47 pm |
  49. Kristin Lacole Wells

    Mike gave the world so many great memo. We love u MJ

    July 3, 2009 at 9:39 pm |
  50. Rose from Muscoy, Calif

    Imagine how many people Michael Jackson touched. Orianthi is one of the lucky ones to work with the King of Pop. I wish that some people would stop talking bad about MJ. He was human made mistakes not so different from us normal people. While we think and talk about Michael let's not forget that he has a family and 3 children to.

    July 3, 2009 at 9:28 pm |
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