Jennifer Batten on the sexism she faced as Michael Jackson's guitarist, and how Jeff Beck shaped her view of innovative guitar playing

Jennifer Batten
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jennifer Batten established herself as a guitarist by remaining true to herself and her craft. In the words of Steve Vai, who knows a thing or two about the instrument, “the way she hammers, her technique, she’s obviously completely suited for the role of being a virtuoso guitar player.” 

Rightfully so. Since her debut with Michael Jackson in 1987, and in the decades that have followed, Batten has refused to comprise her personal and musical integrity. It’s the bedrock upon which she has built her success.

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Alison Richter is a seasoned journalist who interviews musicians, producers, engineers, and other industry professionals, and covers mental health issues for Writing credits include a wide range of publications, including,, Bass Player, TNAG Connoisseur, Reverb, Music Industry News, Acoustic, Drummer,, Gearphoria, She Shreds, Guitar Girl, and Collectible Guitar.