Alyson and Amanda Michalka performing a concert in July 2007
|Also known as||Aly & AJ (2002-2009)|
|Genres||Pop rock, electro rock, electropop|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitars, pianos|
Violet House (2012–present)
78violet (also formerly known as Aly & AJ) is an American pop rock band consisting of sisters Alyson and Amanda Michalka. They were born in Torrance, California, but spent part of their childhood in Seattle, Washington. They are both singer-songwriters, guitarists, and actors. They signed a record deal with, Hollywood Records in 2004. They released their debut studio album Into the Rush on August 17, 2005. The album debuted at number thirty six in the United States, selling over 24,000 copies in its first week and was later certified Platinum by the RIAA. "Rush" was their first official single peaking at number fifty-nine (#59) on the Billboard Hot 100. "Chemicals React" is the album's second single, the song became their second Hot 100 entry, reaching the top 50 peaking at number fifty (#50). Into the Rush earned them the "Contemporary Inspirational Artists of the Year" nomination at the 2006 American Music Awards. Into the Rush has sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide as of 2012.
In 2006 the duo released their second studio and first Holiday album Acoustic Hearts of Winter, which peaked at seventy-eight on the Billboard 200 and was preceded by the hit holiday single Greatest Time of Year. Their third studio album Insomniatic debuted at number fifteen in the United States on the Billboard 200, selling over 39,000 copies in its first week and was later certified Gold by the RIAA making it their highest debut to date. The album's lead single "Potential Breakup Song" is their most successful single to date, it was certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales over 1,000,000 copies and managed to peak at number seventeen (#17) on Billboard becoming their first top twenty entry and international hit. Insomniatic has sold over 2 million copies worldwide as of 2012. With many rumors going around of the band changing their name, the duo announced in 2009 that they will be changing their name to 78violet. The duo have also launched a franchise line which includes a doll series and book series.
After departing from Hollywood Records in 2010 due to lack of musical freedom, 78violet announced they would regroup and yet again work on their fourth studio album. On June 22, 2012, the duo announced the tracklist is set, and on October 15, 2012, they announced the completion of the album. The album is expected sometime in 2013 with the release of its lead single in the summer. On January 25, 2013, it was confirmed that the lead single from the new album would be "Hothouse"; they later confirmed that the album and single would be released by their new record label, Violet House.
2004–06: Into the Rush and Acoustic Hearts of Winter 
Aly & AJ's debut studio album, Into the Rush, was released on August 16, 2005 and certified Gold by the RIAA in March 2006. One of the album's singles, "No One" was featured in the Walt Disney Pictures feature film, Ice Princess and its soundtrack. The song "Do You Believe In Magic", written and originally recorded by The Lovin' Spoonful, added a rock edge. This cover was used in the soundtrack of the made-for-TV Disney Channel original movie, Now You See It..., in which Aly had a starring role as Allyson Henlen. "Do You Believe in Magic" became their first single to enter the top twenty of the Canadian Hot 100 chart, peaking at #23 and peaked at #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Singles Sales. Into the Rush had sold 808,000 copies by December 2007, and over 1,000,000 copies worldwide.
The album received mixed reviews from critics. Fran Grauman from About.com gave the album a 4 star rating, praising Aly and AJ's "ton of talent" and "experience." Allmusic gave the album a mixed review, saying it "doesn't venture further than offering a few empowering ballads", to hand them 2.5 stars after. AMG does praise them for having a real singing ability, citing "Aly & AJ can actually sing — their vocals have more way personality than prefab Disney hopefuls like Hayden Panettiere or Caleigh Peters — and the arrangements are slick without resorting to flashily empty pap". The review finishes with "Into the Rush is listenable, likeable, and more about being memorable than being Disney product." The album became the 112th best-selling album in the United States in 2006, earning it a place as #112 on the Billboard 200 end of year chart of 2006.
They have been involved in various Walt Disney Records projects. The "Aly & AJ Concert" took place on July 24, 2005 at the Henry Fonda theater in Hollywood, California. The aired concert was cut to five songs and interviews. The concert included songs from Into the Rush. The band has also opened for The Cheetah Girls in December 2005 on the girls' Cheetah-licious Christmas Tour. The album was re-released in August 2006 with three new songs, including the hit, "Chemicals React", and two new versions of "Collapsed" and "Something More"; it was also released in the UK. Their second studio album, the Christmas themed Acoustic Hearts of Winter was released on September 26, 2006. On the album, Aly & AJ recorded traditional Christmas songs. In late 2007, the band had recorded three more Christmas originals. Acoustic Hearts of Winter debuted at #78 on the Billboard Hot 100, selling over 19,000 copies in its first week. The album also topped the U.S. Billboard Top Holiday Albums debuting at #14. The holiday album later sold over 136,000 copies in the United States.
2007–08: Insomniatic 
The duo's third studio album, Insomniatic was released on July 10, 2007. The album features a more electropop, electronic rock and dance-pop influenced sound different from their debut with the use of synthesizers, synth-rock guitars, vocoder, and electronic instruments. The album peaked at #15 on the Billboard 200, selling over 39,000 copies in its first week and becoming Aly & AJ's highest debut to date. By early December 2007, the album had sold over 215,000 copies in the United States. The album's electropop lead single, "Potential Breakup Song" preceded their second studio album Insomniatic which was written by them, was released on June 25, 2007. "Potential Breakup Song" peaked at number 17 at Billboard's Hot 100, becoming their first top 20 single in the United States. The single was later also certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales surpassing 1,000,000 copies.
In October 2007, both the single and the album were released in the United Kingdom; "Potential Breakup Song" reached a peak position of #22 in the United Kingdom, and #16 in Ireland. The girls toured for a short while in the UK, opening for McFly twice and performing at several television shows and nightclubs. Time magazine named "Potential Breakup Song" one of the 10 Best Songs of 2007, ranking it at #9. Writer Josh Tyrangiel praised the authenticity of its having been written by the teenage sisters who sing it. The track also went to chart solely on digital download in several countries like the Netherlands, Norway and Canada.
Subsequently after the success of the album's first single, Insomniatic was praised by numerous music critics. The United States publication USA Today wrote "for Insomniatic, the sisters had a hand in writing every song. The single Potential Breakup Song sounds somewhat like Del Shannon's "Runaway" run through a processor, but there's a lot more going musically than on your average teen-pop album." Hollywood Records general manager Abbey Konowitch said, "they write their material; they play their instruments. They aren't in any way manufactured. That's very important." Fraser McAlpine of BBC Radio stated, "Aly and AJ's previous album was rock-pop, some of it light and bubbly, some of it bordering on heaviness. Staccato, often angry pop but still definitely pop. Their second offering, 'Insomniatic,' with this as the lead single seems to have kept the staccato and the venom but added more layers of pop, to create something that sounds like My Chemical Romance going through a blender with some soft-hearted Angry Girl Music." adding, "Don't let the tango at the start fool you, even as the synths and the vocoder cut in, this is a rock song playing with electronics. Chirpy keyboards flag up the growl of their voices as they deliver self-conscious lines like 'it took too long, it took too long, it took too long for you to call back and normally I would just forget that, except for the fact it was my birthday, my stupid birthday', kicking a guy to the curb for being a forgetful loser amid a glorious barrage of seething rhythms, clicky noises and general madness, as the Michalka sisters swing between honeyed murmurs and psychosis, making for the most danceable mental breakdown I've heard in quite some time."
In December 2007, the news revealed that the band would be replacing the Jonas Brothers as the opening act for the extension of the Hannah Montana's Best of Both Worlds Tour from January 11 – January 24. The band also confirmed their second single "Like Whoa", which reached number 63 on the Billboard Hot 100, and charted later in Australia and Canada. In early January 2008, Aly & AJ performed a cover of KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" on Yahoo's Pepsi Smash video site. The cover is also featured on the Japanese re-release of Insomniatic, recorded at Abbey Road. Also, the girls covered the song "We're an American Band" for Randy Jackson's Music Club, Vol. 1, serving as a bonus track.
2009–2010: Name change and Departure from Hollywood Records 
In early 2008, Billboard confirmed that the girls are working on a third studio album which was due to be released in late 2009. They mentioned in an interview on Radio Disney on April 23, 2008 that they are going for a rockier sound, and this time they want to sing separately, not harmonizing their voices as they did on their previous albums, to let fans identify who is singing. On October 7, 2008, the up-to-then-yet-untitled album had been confirmed for an April 2009 release by a Hollywood Records representative, however, a month later, the duo revealed in an interview that the album had been delayed until the summer of 2009. In later interviews though, the duo mentioned a release date of fall 2009, and lastly, on September 30, 2009, the duo claims an early 2010 release of the record.
The duo wrote a song (later confirmed to be titled "The Next Worst Thing") with Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo. The girls also worked with Chris Lord-Alge (Green Day, AFI, Sum 41) and Rob Cavallo (Green Day, The Goo Goo Dolls, Paramore), both producers in the rock genre. Throughout 2009, various songtitles were added to the database of Broadcast Music Incorporated, written by the duo, and co-written with Daniel James and Leah Haywood. Rumors of Aly & AJ touring in the summer of 2009 surfaced the internet, but were later denied by Aly Michalka on their official website. They stated that they were finalizing the record and wanted to focus on that at the moment. They also revealed that they wanted to tour in early 2010 to promote the new album.
On July 8, 2009, the duo announced that they changed their name to 78violet. A week later, on July 16, 78violet announced that their third album will be self-titled. On February 19, 2010, 78violet announced on their official Facebook page that they had officially parted ways with Hollywood Records, and their new self-titled album, 78violet probably will not be released. However, the duo stated that they are continuing to write and record for a new album.
2011–present: Fourth studio album 
On December 1, 2010, 78violet's first song under the name of 78violet was released with the Hellcats soundtrack EP. 78violet recorded the theme song to Hellcats, titled "Belong Here". On January 24, 2011, a video of 78violet in the studio was released where a clip of a new song "Suspended" was played. Some of the titles being considered for 78violet's fourth album are 8 Hours and 53rd floor Aly mentioned that they are with a new production company. New album is more mellow and is more soulful.
On June 18, 2012, 78violet announced that they are "Off to NY to start cutting instrumentals for the record". On June 19, 2012, they announced that they had started the first day of production for the album, saying "Officially the first day starting the album production:) it's taken 5 years but we are here!". On June 22, they announced that the "Album track list is officially set:)", calling it "not what you expect". On October 15, 2012, the girls tweeted that their album is complete and expected sometime 2013, with the possibility of a single in summer of the same year. The girls later confirmed that the lead single would be "Hothouse". They later promoted the single with the announcement of their new record label Violet House Productions. May 2nd the girls signed to Red Light Management which will be the music management company of all the girls future music.
Acting & Other work 
Aly also had a role in Disney's Phil of the Future. Before acting in films separately, the duo were featured in two made-for-television films; the Disney Channel film Cow Belles (2006) and the MTV special Super Sweet 16: The Movie (2007). Before this, Aly also fulfilled a main role in the 2005 Disney Channel original movie Now You See It..., alongside Johnny Pacar. Aly has made an acting career for herself starring alongside Ashley Tisdale in the new CW hit drama Hellcats, co-starring with Vanessa Hudgens in the movie Bandslam, as well as playing Rhiannon in the movie Easy A – released in 2010. With regard to AJ’s acting career, in 2009 she had a role in The Lovely Bones, a film by Peter Jackson with Mark Wahlberg and Saoirse Ronan, in which AJ played the best friend of the main character Susie Salmon. In 2010, Amanda appeared as Kate Tweedy in Secretariat, a Disney live-action film based on a true story about America's most famous horse of the same name who won the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in 1973. In 2011, AJ appeared in the new film by J.J. Abrams, Super 8. AJ has been tapped for a recurring role on Hellcats, where Aly works as one of the principal characters. AJ's first appearance took place on the 18th episode called "Woke Up Dead", of the first season. Her name in the show is Deidre. She plays a girl who works in a music store near the Lancer University, where Aly goes to learn more about her dad. In the 20th episode "Warped Sisters", Deidre and Aly's character, revealed to be half-sisters, sing together. In 2013 Aly did a cameo appearance in Adam Sandler's Grown Ups 2, she also starred in Indie films: "Crazy Kind of Love" as character Janine, "Killing Winston Jones" as Cookie,and "Sequoia National Park" as Reilly. In 2013 AJ starred in films "Grace Unplugged" as Grace, and "Jesus in Cowboy Boots" as Vallie.
Huckleberry Toys released Limited Edition Hello Kitty Aly & AJ dolls to selected Target stores. Toys R Us is currently selling a line of the dolls which have been available since November 15, 2007. On November 20, 2007, The Aly & AJ Adventure game was brought out, for use on the Nintendo DS. In the game, the player plays their assistant, helping them record songs, direct music video etc.
As of June 12, 2008, the duo started releasing their own paperback adventure books, called Aly & AJ's Rock 'n' Roll Mysteries, each part describing Aly & AJ on tour, every book describing a mystery in a different city. The drawings in the books were done by Aly. The first two (First Stop, New York and Mayhem in Miami) were released on June 12, the third installment (Singing in Seattle) on September 2, and the last (Nashville Nights) went to stores on October 4, 2008.
Performance Designed Products released Aly & AJ-designed guitars on November 10, 2008. Aly's guitar features a heart-and-crossbones print in pink (PlayStation 2) and AJ's guitar is in the shape of the Aly & AJ heart logo featuring bright pink and purple zebra print (Wii, PS2). The duo launched the guitars on October 11, 2008 during event at Universal Studios CityWalk in California. The duo also have clothing, accessories, jewelry and cosmetics lines. According to Forbes and AOL, they are one of Hollywood's highest earning singers under the age of 30.
Charity work 
The duo are the spokeswomen for Samsung's Hope for Education, which provides technology products to needy schools, and are the co-chairpersons for the Children's Advisory Board of the AmberWatch Foundation, and have performed at a benefit concert to raise money for the charity. The song "I Am One of Them", which was featured in the debut album Into the Rush is dedicated to work with AmberWatch. The duo also walked a fashion show for the Race to Erase MS show in early May 2008, showing their support.
Stalking incidents 
On June 26, 2008, an Ohio man named Rex Mettler was arrested for stalking the duo. The Lancaster man "obtained contact information for the acting and singing duo and made threats online, by phone and handwritten notes" as stated by the police. The duo was scheduled to perform June 27, 2008 in Cincinnati, where the man was present, after which the police couldn't confirm that any of the threats involved the Ohio show. The police later stated that "the charge against Mettler stems from incidents that began Dec. 15 " and that "Rex displayed a pattern of activity over that time that reflected multiple attempts, if not numerous attempts, at stalking these females."
Two years later, on June 17, 2010, Caesar Brantley (25), was arrested on suspicion of stalking the duo. He pleaded not guilty. Aly claimed Brantley is an "obsessed fan" who is determined to marry her "no matter what" in filings for the restraining order. Another court hearing was scheduled on June 30.
Along with making music for the mainstream audience, Aly & AJ, who are both very open about their faith, have become significant in the Christian music rock scene. "Never Far Behind" was only released on Christian rock radio. It went to #1 on Radio & Records (R&R) Christian CHR. Nevertheless, they do not want to be labeled as Christian music artists. In an interview with Blender magazine in June 2006, the girls said that their music comes from a Christian perspective. "We don't ever wanna preach or shove anything down people's throats, but we want our music to be inspiring." AJ added, “If we have a Muslim fan or an atheist fan, that’s their thing — I’m gonna love them no matter what.”
In an interview with Blender magazine, the two expressed their denial of evolution, with the interviewer asking what their thoughts were. When asked if they accepted evolution, AJ responded, "No," and Aly responded, "Are they teaching that in schools now?" When told that it had been taught for the better part of a century, she replied, "I think that's kind of disrespectful, anything that has to do with anybody's beliefs on religion, that should stay out of the classroom. I mean, I think people should be able to pray in school, if people were into that. Everybody should just do their own gig", and AJ added "Evolution is silly. Monkeys? Um, no."
In 2010, Aly Michalka stated in an interview with Seventeen magazine, "My faith is definitely a big part of my life, but not part of my career. It is something that guides me. But I feel like when you make a declaration of your religion, people automatically go after you when that purity ring comes off. So I don't want to set myself up for that kind of judgment."
- 2005: Mini Mall Tour
- 2006: Living Room Tour
- 2006: Holiday Season Tour
- 2008: Insomniatic Tour
- 2008: Mini Summer Tour
- 2005: The Cheetah Girls Cheetah-licious Christmas Tour
- 2006: The Cheetah Girls The Party's Just Begun Tour
- 2008: Best of Both Worlds Tour
Awards & Nominations 
|2005||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) - Leading Young Actress||Aly Michalka as Keely Teslow in Phil of the Future||Nominated|
|2006||American Music Awards||Contemporary Inspirational Artists of the Year||Into the Rush||Nominated|
|2008||Time Magazine Awards||10 Best songs of 2007||Potential Breakup Song||Won (9th place)|
|2011||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Female Scene Stealer||Aly Michalka in Easy A and The Roommate||Nominated|
- "Tommy2.Net Exclusive: Aly and AJ to go by the name 78 Violet". Tommy2.net. July 7, 2009. Retrieved July 8, 2009.
- "Alleged Aly & AJ Stalker Arraigned". E! Online. 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- "Plugged In Online". Plugged In Online. Retrieved 2010-05-11.[dead link]
- "Aly and AJ". BMI. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
- Harris, Chris (2007-07-18). "Smashing Pumpkins Unable To Dethrone Billboard King T.I. - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News". Mtv.com. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- "POTENTIAL BREAKUP SONG GOES PLATINUM!". Retrieved March 20, 2009.
- "Aly & AJ Change Their Name" from Angry Ape News.
- Mansfield, Brian (July 8, 2007). "Aly & AJ pull out all the stops in 'Sweet' sister act". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
- Grauman, Fran. ""Into the Rush" – Aly and AJ". About.com: Children's music. Archived from the original on November 23, 2007. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
- Into the Rush > Overview '"AMG.
- Top Music Charts – Hot 100 – Billboard 200 – Music Genre Sales[dead link]
- "Mitchel Musso Music News & Info". Billboard.com. Archived from the original on 14 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- "A couple of sales questions answered". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-01-16.[dead link]
- Katie Hasty, "T.I. Holds Off Pumpkins, Interpol To Remain No. 1", Billboard.com, July 18, 2007.
- "Potential Breakup Song" Chart Trajectory on Billboard 200, based on Billboard.com info, Aly & AJ Reaction.
- Tyrangiel, Josh; "The Best Top 10 Lists of the Year"; "The 10 Best Songs"; Time magazine; December 24, 2007; Page 39.
- Tyrangiel, Josh (2007-12-09). "''Time'' magazine's Top 10 Songs of 2007 at". Time.com. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- "Aly & Aj Potential Breakup Song". Bbc.co.uk. 2007-10-04. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- ""Black Horse & the Cherry Tree" video at Yahoo! Music". Music.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- Aly & AJ Writing New Songs, Plot Films. Billboard. January 10, 2008.
- "Aly & AJ On Radio Disney". Aly & AJ Reaction. April 24, 2008.
- "April Rules!!". Aly & AJ Reaction. October 9, 2008.
- "Twitter / Aly & AJ Michalka: @SJC4783 the beginning of". Twitter.com. 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- "Twitter / Sam: @78violet when are we goin". Twitter.com. 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- "New Music Titles & Deets". Aly & AJ Reaction (June 28, 2009)
- "The Billboard Q&A: Rivers Cuomo". Billboard. December 7, 2008.
- "In a session with Chris Lord Alge & Rob Cavallo, two of our f... on Twitpic". Twitpic.com. 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- "BMI confirms new Aly & AJ song". Aly & AJ Reaction. January 16, 2009.
- "3 new songtitles!". Aly & AJ Reaction (June 10, 2009)
- "Leah Haywood and Daniel James music discography" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- Sophia, Gino (15 November 2009). "Info on the new album". 78violet Reaction. Retrieved January 16, 2010.[dead link]
- 78violet Latest Tweets
- "Niet compatibele browser". Facebook. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- "Niet compatibele browser". Facebook. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- "78Violet in the studio". YouTube. 2011-01-24. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
- "78violet Live Chat - July 15th 2011- Part 1 [Oh-78violet.com]". YouTube. July 18, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
- [dead link]
- "Hollywood's Top 20 Young, Famous & RICH". AOL.com. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
- AmberWatch Foundation official site.[dead link]
- "Alleged Aly & AJ Stalker Arraigned".. Retrieved June 27, 2008.
- "Aly & AJ stalker arrested".. Retrieved June 29, 2008.[dead link]
- "Aly And A.J.'s Alleged Stalker Pleads Not Guilty". Starpulse. 2010-06-17. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
- The Daily Telegraph staff (2010-06-21). "Aly Michalka's stalker Ceasar Brantley allegedly wants to marr her". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
- Tweenage Riot. Blender magazine, June 2006.
- "Culture Clips". Seventeen. September 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Aly & AJ|