Alisan Porter

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Alisan Porter
Alisan Porter.jpg
Porter in 2015
Born (1981-06-20) June 20, 1981 (age 40)
EducationStaples High School, Connecticut
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active1987–present: Actress
2009–present: Singer, songwriter
Brian Autenrieth
(m. 2012; div. 2017)
Musical career

Alisan Leigh Porter[1] (born June 20, 1981) is an American pop, rock & country singer, actress, and dancer. As a child, Porter made acting appearances in Parenthood, Stella and I Love You to Death. Her breakout role came in 1991, when she played the lead in the film Curly Sue opposite Jim Belushi.

As an adult, Porter pursued roles in musical theatre, including a run in The Ten Commandments: The Musical & as an original cast member of the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line. A solo album followed in 2009. In 2016, she auditioned for NBC's The Voice, earning a spot on Team Christina. In May of that same year, Porter was named the winner of season 10.

Life and career[edit]

Born to Jewish parents in Worcester, Massachusetts, Porter is the great-granddaughter of prominent Worcester rabbi Joseph Klein.[2] Her grandmother ran the Charlotte Klein Dance Center.[3] Porter's father, Ric Porter, was co-founder, lead singer, and songwriter of the Worcester-based band Zonkaraz.[4] Her mother, Laura Klein, also taught dance, coaching Diane and Elaine Klimaszewski, who appeared on Star Search in 1987 in the junior dance category before they became known as the Coors Light Twins. While in Los Angeles for the twins' appearance on Star Search, the show's producer heard Porter singing in the hotel lobby and booked her to appear on the next episode. Porter has been singing and performing since age three; at age five, she became the youngest Star Search participant ever to win the competition. That same year, she also appeared on Pee Wee's Playhouse as one of the playhouse gang in Season 2.

Porter acted in several films as a child; she became known for playing the title role in the 1991 movie Curly Sue opposite Jim Belushi. On television, she played the youngest daughter of Lynn Redgrave on the short-lived ABC sitcom Chicken Soup in 1989. The following year, she was slated to be a new regular cast member on Perfect Strangers, but her character was dropped after only one episode.

Porter continued acting at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut, where she joined a theater group and participated in various shows. While a freshman, Porter portrayed Anita in West Side Story, and as a senior played the lead in Cinderella. After Porter won The Voice in 2016, her former high school drama teacher said she was not surprised by the result. "She blew everybody away" with her performance in West Side Story, and "really seemed to get the best out of everybody else. Her energy rubbed off on everybody. She inspired others."[5]

When she was 18 years old, Porter moved to New York to audition for Broadway shows. She was cast as Urleen in the show Footloose. Following her move to Los Angeles,[6] Porter starred as Miriam in The Ten Commandments: The Musical at the Kodak Theatre alongside Val Kilmer, Adam Lambert and Broadway star Lauren Kennedy. Variety called her performance of "Light of a New Day" "superb".[7]

In 2003, the band The Raz was formed, with Porter as the vocalist and main songwriter. The Raz split up in 2004. In March 2005, she announced the birth of her new band, The Alisan Porter Project. During 2006, she performed in the revival of A Chorus Line as Bebe Benzenheimer at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in New York City. On October 9, 2009, her independent debut album Alisan Porter was released.[8]

Porter sang the National Anthem at the 2016 A Capitol Fourth special on July 3 at the U.S. Capitol West Lawn in Washington, D.C. The special was broadcast on PBS. She also sang the anthem prior to the nationally televised Sunday Night Football game in Oakland, CA on November 6, 2016.

In 2017, Porter, alongside Matt McAndrew, Mary Sarah, Chris Mann, Matthew Schuler, Michael Sanchez and Chloe Kohanski headlined the new Las Vegas show called The Voice: Neon Dreams.[9]

The Voice (2016)[edit]

On February 29, 2016, she became a contestant on season 10 of The Voice and sang "Blue Bayou" for her blind audition performance. All four coaches – Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Pharrell Williams – turned their chairs for her and she chose Aguilera as her coach.[10][11][12] In the battle rounds, Porter was up against Lacy Mandigo with the song "California Dreamin'" by The Mamas & the Papas as a rock version. In the knockout rounds, Porter beat Daniel Passino. Porter went on to sing through the live shows, advancing via public vote every week up to the finals, where she performed her original song "Down That Road". On May 24, 2016, Porter was crowned the season 10 winner of The Voice. She also helped make The Voice US history as the first artist to win the show with a female coach, giving Aguilera her first win as a coach.

 ← Studio version reached the top 10 on iTunes.
Stage Song Original Artist Date Order Result
Blind Audition "Blue Bayou" Roy Orbison Feb 29 1.11 All four chairs turned;
joined Team Christina
Battles (Top 48) "California Dreamin'" (vs. Lacy Mandigo) The Mamas and The Papas March 21 8.9 Saved by Coach
Knockouts (Top 32) "River" (vs. Daniel Passino) Joni Mitchell March 28 10.5
Live Playoffs (Top 24) "Cry Baby" Janis Joplin April 11 14.12 Saved by Public Vote
Live Top 12 "Stone Cold" Demi Lovato April 18 17.9
Live Top 11 "Stay with Me Baby" Lorraine Ellison April 25 19.6
Live Top 10 "Let Him Fly" Patty Griffin May 2 21.9
Live Top 9 "Cryin'" Aerosmith May 9 23.8
Live Top 8 (Semifinals) "Desperado" Eagles May 16 25.4
Live Final 4 (Finale) "Down That Road" (original song) Porter May 23 26.2 Winner
"You've Got a Friend" (with Christina Aguilera) Carole King 26.6
"Somewhere" West Side Story 26.12
Non-competition performances:
Collaborator(s) Song Original artist
Bryan Bautista, Nick Hagelin, Tamar Davis, Kata Hay, and Ryan Quinn "Stars" Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Christina Aguilera, Bryan Bautista, & Nick Hagelin "Live and Let Die" Paul McCartney & Wings
Adam Wakefield "Angel from Montgomery" Bonnie Raitt & John Prine
Paxton Ingram, Kata Hay and Ryan Quinn "Straight On" Heart
Jennifer Nettles "Unlove You" Jennifer Nettles

Personal life[edit]

Porter has openly discussed her battles with alcoholism and drug addiction. She says she has been sober since October 28, 2007.[13][14]

Since December 2008, Porter is a contributing columnist for movmnt magazine.[15] Porter created a closed Facebook page for mothers called Lil' Mamas and then, in 2012, a related blog website of the same name that she runs with her business partner, Celia Behar.[16][17]

On March 10, 2012, Porter married Brian Autenrieth, a fruit exporter and former child soap opera actor, in California.[18] The couple have two children: son Mason Blaise (b. July 17, 2012) and daughter Aria Sage Autenrieth (b. May 8, 2014).[6] On December 18, 2017, Porter announced on Twitter that the couple had separated in March. She said, "In a sad and honest note Brian and I ended our relationship in March. We remain close friends and are committed to always doing our best for our amazing kids."[19]



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Homesick Maggie
1989 Parenthood Taylor Buckman
1990 Stella Jenny Claire (age 8)
1990 I Love You to Death Carla Boca
1991 Curly Sue Curly Sue
2003 Shrink Rap Brandi
2006 The Ten Commandments: The Musical Miriam
2008 Meet Dave A Chorus Line Dancer
2008 Every Little Step Herself


Year Title Role Notes
1987 Pee-wee's Playhouse Li'l Punkin season 2
1987 I'll Take Manhattan Young Maxi Miniseries
1987 Family Ties Child Episode: "Miracle in Columbus"
1987 A Beverly Hills Christmas Herself Television film
1989–90 Chicken Soup Molly Peerce 12 episodes
1990 Perfect Strangers Tess Holland Episode: "New Kid on the Block"
1990 When You Remember Me Kelly Movie
1991 The Golden Girls Melissa Episode: "Beauty and the Beast"
2001 Undressed Belinda Season 4 episodes
2016 The Voice Herself / Artist Season 10 winner



Title Details Peak chart positions

Alisan Porter
  • Type: Debut album
  • Released: October 9, 2009[20]
Who We Are
  • Type: Album
  • Released: November 24, 2014[21]
Pink Cloud
  • Type: Album
  • Released: September 13, 2019


Title Details Peak chart positions

I Come in Pieces
  • Released: 2017

Releases from The Voice[edit]


Album Details Peak chart positions
US Digital
The Complete Season 10 Collection
(The Voice Performance)


Year Single Peak


US Country Digital

2016 "Blue Bayou" 41 24 30,000+
"California Dreamin'"
(with Lacy Mandigo)
"Cry Baby"
"Stone Cold"
"Stay with Me Baby"
"Let Him Fly" 34
"Cryin'" 30
"Desperado" 24
"Somewhere" 21 65,000+
"You've Got a Friend"
(with Christina Aguilera)
"Down That Road" 100 20 62,000+
2017 "Deep Water"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other works[edit]

Porter co-wrote the following songs:

  • Adam LambertFor Your Entertainment (2009)
    • Aftermath (Adam Lambert, Alisan Porter, Ferras, Ely Rise)
  • Scarlett Cherry – Labor of Love (2011)
    • Angel (Alisan Porter, Ely Rise, Scarlett Cherry, Lee Cherry, Guy Baruch)
    • Sleep Until You Dream (Alisan Porter, IIsey Juber, Jordan Lawhead, Scarlett Cherry, Lee Cherry)
    • Never Knew Love (Alisan Porter, Ely Rise, Scarlett Cherry, Lee Cherry)

Porter appears on the 2006 Revival Cast Recording of A Chorus Line, portraying Bebe Benzenheimer, whom she also portrayed on Broadway.[28]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1992 Young Artist Awards Best Young Actress Guest Starring or Recurring Role in a TV Series The Golden Girls Nominated
1993 Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture Curly Sue Won


  1. ^ Donelson, Marcy. "Alisan Porter – Biography by Marcy Donelson". AllMusic. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  2. ^ Gold, Sylviane (October 1, 2006). "On the rise: Alisan Porter born to play Chorus Line's Bebe". Dance Magazine. Retrieved June 6, 2016 – via The Free Library.
  3. ^ Duckett, Richard (June 8, 2006). "Following in mother's dance-steps". Telegram & Gazette. Worcester, Massachusetts. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  4. ^ Williamson, Dianne (June 5, 2016). "Zonkaraz still feels the love". Telegram & Gazette. Worcester, Massachusetts. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  5. ^ Turner, Jonathan (May 25, 2016). "Retired Moline teacher recalls The Voice winner". The Dispatch / The Rock Island Argus. Moline, Illinois. Retrieved May 26, 2016 – via QCOnline.
  6. ^ a b Wynter, Dontei (May 25, 2016). "The Voice 2016 Winner Alisan Porter: 5 Facts to Know about Her". Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  7. ^ Hirschhorn, Joel (September 28, 2004). "Review: The Ten Commandments". Variety. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c "Alisan Porter Album & Song Chart History – Folk Albums". Billboard. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  9. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (November 1, 2017). "'The Voice: Neon Dreams' Set To Open In Las Vegas With Former Contestants". Deadline. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  10. ^ Norwin, Alyssa (March 6, 2016). "The Voice Recap: Christina Aguilera Is Back With A Vengeance As Season 10 Begins". Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  11. ^ Bentley, Jean (February 29, 2016). "The Voice's Tenth Season Kicks Off With Some Truly Outstanding Blind Auditions". E! Online. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  12. ^ Mizoguchi, Karen (March 1, 2016). "Curly Sue's Alisan Porter Nails Her Voice Blind Audition, Joins Team Xtina". People. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  13. ^ Nessif, Bruna (September 11, 2014). "Curly Sue Star Alisan Porter Reveals Past Alcohol and Drug Addiction". E! Online. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  14. ^ Cosgrove Baylis, Sheila (September 11, 2014). "Curly Sue Actress Alisan Porter Admits to Being an Alcoholic". People. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  15. ^ Porter, Alisan (December 2008). "The Truth about Alisan Porter". movmnt. Archived from the original on April 12, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
  16. ^ "About Us". Lil' Mamas. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  17. ^ DiLuna, Amy (December 21, 2016). "Moms commit random acts of kindness in honor of San Bernardino victim". Today. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  18. ^ Garcia, Jennifer (March 11, 2012). "Curly Sue Star Alisan Porter Gets Married". People. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  19. ^ Porter, Alisan (December 18, 2017). "In a sad and honest note Brian and I ended our relationship in March. We remain close friends and are committed to always doing our best for our amazing kids. Thank you for the support and have a beautiful holiday. Xo A". @alisanporter. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  20. ^ "Alisan Porter by Alisan Porter". iTunes. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  21. ^ "Who We Are by Alisan Porter". iTunes. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  22. ^ "Alisan Porter - Chart History Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  23. ^ "Alisan Porter Album & Song Chart History – Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  24. ^ "Alisan Porter Album & Song Chart History – Digital Songs". Billboard. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  25. ^ "Alisan Porter Album & Song Chart History – Country Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  26. ^ "Alisan Porter – Chart History Billboard Country Digital". Billboard. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  27. ^ "Alisan Porter Album & Song Chart History – Rock Songs". Billboard. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  28. ^ A Chorus Line: The New Cast Recording on Discogs. Retrieved Oct. 6, 2020.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by The Voice (American)

2016 (Spring)
Succeeded by
Preceded by The Voice
Winner's song
"Down That Road"

2016 (Spring)
Succeeded by