Amanda Joy "AJ" Michalka (born April 10, 1991), often credited as AJ, is an American actress, singer-songwriter, and musician. She was a model prior to becoming an actress, and is best known as one-half of the duo 78violet (formerly Aly & AJ) with her sister Aly Michalka. AJ recorded the theme song and accompanying music video for the film Secretariat, entitled "It's Who You Are". She also issued a single and video called "All I've Ever Needed" from her 2013 film Grace Unplugged. She has also had a successful acting career, and after two seasons in a recurring role as Lainey Lewis on the ABC sitcom "The Goldbergs", she is being promoted to a regular role on the series for the third season onward.
Michalka was born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, but lived and grew up in Seattle, Washington and Southern California with her older sister Aly. Her father, Mark, owns a contracting company, and her mother, Carrie, is a musician and performed with JC Band, a Christian band. She has Ukrainian, German, British (English, Scottish and Welsh) and Irish ancestry. Michalka has been playing the piano since she was six and started playing the guitar in her early teens. She started acting when she was five years old, mostly in church play productions. She was raised as a Christian and continues to practice the faith. Michalka was in a number of musical productions at her school in Milwaukee as a young adult.
Since 2013, Michalka has had a recurring role on the ABC sitcom, The Goldbergs, as Lainey Lewis, the girlfriend of one of the main characters on the show. In May 2015, it was announced that she would be a series regular for the show's upcoming third season. In July 2014, she and her sister, Aly Michalka filmed an untitled drama in Laurel Canyon, California. The film was directed and written by Aly's husband, Stephen Ringer. Michalka was one of the producers of the film, alongside her sister and Ringer, and also participated in the casting process. In early May 2015, it was announced the film, now titled, Weepah Way for Now, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 16, 2015.