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Orianthi finds life balance with Sambora

AAP logoAAP 30/08/2016 Danielle McGrane

Adelaide guitarist Orianthi was one of the last people to work with Michael Jackson before he died, which proved to be both a blessing and a curse.

Orianthi had been called up by Jackson to work on his show This Is It, but he died before the show ever saw the light of day.

The iconic musician still left an indelible mark on the guitarist and despite having worked together for just four months, his death felt raw and personal.

"Him passing was a shock and really devastating and as soon as he passed the label put out the album, so I was on this crazy journey of trying to come to terms with losing someone who became very close to everybody over four months, somebody you admired and looked up to, and promoting the album and kind of going through all these mixed emotions," Orianthi told AAP.

"For about three or four years, it was a cray time in my life."

Orianthi found herself releasing two massive albums directly after Jackson's death. One was This Is it, the posthumous release of Jackson's new music and then Believe, her first solo record released on a major label.

"It was a crazy time. I had stalkers, I was chased into different restaurants by paparazzi," she said.

"My sister came over to LA and we had TMZ or someone following us behind and videotaping us when we went on a walk one day and that was the craziest moment."

Orianthi, the girl from Adelaide who had been chasing her musical dreams in LA, all of a sudden found herself part of a growing media circus at the age of 23.

"I guess people just wanted information, they just wanted to know what happened to Michael so it was pretty crazy."

Having played guitar for artists including Carrie Underwood and Alice Cooper, and with her own solo work, Orianthi had a lot of music to keep her going and feed her soul.

But one of the biggest musical and personal moments in her life was yet to come.

In 2014, while playing at a New Year's Eve concert in Maui with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler she met Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora who would go on to become her partner, both in music and in life.

"Richie came up and started chatting to me and there was instant chemistry right off the bat," she said.

Together, Orianthi and Sambora perform as RSO and will soon be in Australia for a tour.

The virtuoso guitarists perform songs from Sambora's career with Bon Jovi (Sambora left the band in 2013) and from Orianthi's career. They are also about to release a collaborative album.

"We just came back from Brazil and played four shows over there to 30,000 people," Orianthi said.

It's an intense lifestyle, but Orianthi says they have worked out how to mix business with pleasure.

"We're best of friends and we respect each other so it's just finding a balance. Richie does different things and I do different things on the side, and we support each other, and I think that's important," she said.

"We're pretty normal when we're not on stage. We do normal things, we have people over. I love cooking and we love watching movies together so it's all about finding that balance."

RSO Australian tour dates:

September 23 - Metro City, Perth

September 26 - Adelaide Entertainment Centre Theatre, Adelaide

September 27 - Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne

September 29 - Enmore Theatre, Sydney

September 30 - Eaton Hills, Brisbane

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