Orianthi on Performing at Michael Jackson's Memorial: 'I Didn't Know How I Was Gonna Get Through It'
Guitarist Orianthi told Oprah: Where Are They Now that taking the stage at Michael Jackson's memorial was one of the "hardest things" she's ever done
Guitarist and singer/songwriter Orianthi had the chance to perform with two of music’s biggest icons before their deaths — and now she’s opening up about the experience.
“Playing Michael Jackson’s memorial service was one of the hardest things to do because it was literally a few days after he had passed and Kenny Ortega, who was directing it all, was like ‘You’re gonna come out and sing,’ ” she explains, adding, “So not only was I completely shaken up, I didn’t know how I was gonna get through it. Then going out there just with a microphone, I was like, ‘I feel completely weird.'”
She says, “It was a special night but at the same time it was very, very sad.”
Orianthi, 31, had been rehearsing with Jackson for his ill-fated This Is It tour as a guitarist at the time of his surprising death. She was hired after being contacted through MySpace and performing a private audition for Jackson. Working with the star, she says, was one of the “craziest moments of my life.”
Oprah: Where Are They Now? featuring Orianthi airs Saturday, Dec. 3 at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.