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When she was eleven, she took up electric guitar and left her school, Mercedes College, enrolling at Cabra Dominican College.
She also attended St Peter's Collegiate Girls' School for a short period.
But the “Livin’ on a Prayer” star met Orianthi Panagaris, 29, who was Michael Jackson’s lead guitarist on his final tour, at metal legend Alice Cooper’s New Year’s Eve party in Hawaii and was smitten. Sambora told Australian site au that the first time they played together, “the chemistry was instantaneous.” “Orianthi and I have a musical conversation when we play and she just happens to be one of the best players on the planet,” Sambora crowed.
“Richie told people that as soon as he met Ori, something sparked. The Jersey boy, who parted ways with Bon Jovi in 2013 after 30 years with the band, began performing with his new squeeze at the Soundwave festival in February and is now touring with her in Europe.
Orianthi relocated to Los Angeles, signed with Geffen Records in late 2006 and struck a management deal with 19 Entertainment.
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, 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 concerts.
“Nikki’s concern is the business,” said the insider.
Orianthi was hence Michael Jackson's lead guitarist and was present on all rehearsals for his This Is It concerts before his death.