AJ Michalka

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AJ Michalka
AJ Michalka by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Michalka in November 2017
Amanda Joy Michalka

(1991-04-10) April 10, 1991 (age 27)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Actress
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • guitarist
Years active2002–present
RelativesAly Michalka (sister)
Musical career
Also known asAmanda Michalka
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
Associated actsAly & AJ

Amanda Joy "AJ" Michalka (/mˈʃɑːkə/ mee-SHAH-kah;[1] born April 10, 1991)[2] is an American actress, singer-songwriter, and musician. She was a model before becoming an actress, and is best known as one-half of the duo Aly and AJ (formerly 78Violet) 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 had been promoted to a regular role on the series for the third season but was demoted to recurring status for the fifth season as her character went to college and thus was in fewer storylines. She is set to star with her Goldbergs colleagues Tim Meadows and Bryan Callen in a spin-off Schooled for air in the 2018–19 U.S. television season.[3]

Early life[edit]

Michalka was born and raised in Torrance, California and is the younger sister of actress and musician, Aly Michalka. Her father, Mark, owns a contracting company, and her mother, Carrie, is a musician and performed with the Christian rock band "JC Band". Her parents are divorced. As a little girl, she briefly lived in Seattle and Milwaukee.[4][5] Both she and her sister attended Mack Elementary. She has been playing the piano since she was six and started playing the guitar in her early life. She started acting when she was five years old, mostly in church play productions. She was raised as a Christian, and was homeschooled for part of her childhood.[6][7][8] Michalka was in a number of musical productions at her school in Milwaukee as a young woman.[7] Her ancestry is German, English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh.[9][10]


Michalka performing in 2007

She plays a variety of instruments such as acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, and bongos. She was a model for catalogs. In March 2006, she made her Disney Channel debut in the Disney Channel Original Movie Cow Belles, as "Courtney Callum," along with sister Aly, as "Taylor Callum." She has also made appearances on shows such as Oliver Beene, Six Feet Under, The Guardian, and General Hospital.[7][8][11][12] She has also appeared with her sister, Aly, in the MTV film, Super Sweet 16: The Movie.

In 2009, she was featured in the Peter Jackson film The Lovely Bones, released widely on January 15, 2010.[13]

From 2009 until 2013, Michalka and her sister performed as the musical duo 78violet. They decided to later change their name back to "Aly and AJ" in 2015. She was cast as a recurring character on The CW series Hellcats[14] starring Ashley Tisdale and along with her sister Aly Michalka. The series ran for one season and was cancelled in May 2011.

Michalka appeared in the 2011 film Super 8, directed by J. J. Abrams. Her first big-screen starring role is as the title character in 2013's Grace Unplugged.

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.[15] 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. The film was later released on DVD, iTunes, and other streaming platforms in June 2016.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Lovely Bones Clarissa
2010 Slow Moe Emily
2010 Secretariat Kate Tweedy
2011 Super 8 Jen
2013 Grace Unplugged Grace Trey
2013 Angels in Stardust Vallie Sue
2014 Expecting Amish Hannah Yoder
2015 Weepah Way for Now Joy Co-producer
2016 Dirty Lies Tiffany
2017 Apple of My Eye Kai
2018 Support the Girls Krista


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Passions Sheridan's Daughter 1 episode
2002 Birds of Prey Young Dinah 2 episodes
2004 General Hospital Ashley B. 2 episodes
2004 Six Feet Under Ashley 2 episodes
2002–2004 The Guardian Shannon Gressler 15 episodes
2003–2004 Oliver Beene Bonnie 9 episodes
2006 Cow Belles Courtney Callum Television film
2007 Punk'd Herself 1 episode
2007 Super Sweet 16: The Movie Sara Television film
2007 Aly & AJ: Sister Act Herself MTV television special
2011 Hellcats Deirdre Perkins 3 episodes
2011 Salem Falls Gillian Duncan Television film
2013–present The Goldbergs Lainey Lewis Recurring character (Seasons 1–2, 5)
Series regular (Seasons 3–4, 6); (65 episodes)
2014 Silicon Valley Charlotte Episode: "Proof of Concept"
2014 Motive Emily Williams Episode: "Dead End"
2014 Expecting Amish Hannah Yoder Television film
2015–present Steven Universe Stevonnie (voice) Animated series (6 episodes)
2016 Cupcake Wars Herself/Contestant Celebrity special
2016 All My Friends Are Getting Married[17] Chloe Web series for Popsugar.com (6 episodes)
2018 She-Ra and the Princesses of Power[18] Catra (voice) Animated series
2019 Schooled Lainey Lewis

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Role Artist Notes
2012 "Gotten" Runaway daughter Slash featuring Adam Levine



Year Title Album
2010 "It's Who You Are" Secretariat
2013 "All I've Ever Needed" Grace Unplugged
"Desert Song"
"You Never Let Go"
2017 "Here Comes a Thought" (with Estelle) Steven Universe, Vol. 1 (Original Soundtrack)
"Tom Sawyer" (with Hayley Orrantia) The Goldbergs Mixtape
"Eternal Flame" (with Hayley Orrantia)
"Walking on Sunshine" (with Hayley Orrantia)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated Work Result
2006 American Music Awards Contemporary Inspirational Artists of the Year Into the Rush Nominated
2014 Movieguide Awards Most Inspiring Performance in Movies Grace Unplugged Won
2015 Napa Film Festival Special Jury Award-Acting in a Lounge Feature Film (shared with Aly Michalka) Weepah Way for Now Won
2017 Behind the Voice Actor Awards Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Guest Role Steven Universe Won


  1. ^ Semigran, Aly. "Aly Michalka, actor and musician," Entertainment Weekly, August 14, 2009.
  2. ^ "Family Tree Legends". Family Tree Legends. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 16, 2018). "'The Goldbergs' Spinoff Picked Up To Series By ABC With Tim Meadows, Bryan Callen & AJ Michalka Set To Star". Deadline. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  4. ^ Axson, Scooby (July 7, 2006). "Article: Pop sisters: Better known for their acting, Aly and AJ leap onto music... | AccessMyLibrary – Promoting library advocacy". AccessMyLibrary. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  5. ^ "Tweenage Riot". Blender Magazine. May 23, 2006. Archived from the original on June 28, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  6. ^ "78 Violet, 11/05 – Interviews – Christian Music Today". Christianitytoday.com. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c "Tweenage Riot Article on Blender". Blender.com. May 23, 2006. Archived from the original on December 18, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  8. ^ a b Grounded in Faith – Today's Christian Archived June 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ https://www.geni.com/people/AJ-Michalka/6000000048458237087
  10. ^ http://www.tmz.com/person/aj-michalka/
  11. ^ [1] Archived March 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ "Aly & AJ, 11/05 – Interviews – Christian Music Today". Christianitytoday.com. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  13. ^ Aly & AJ Writing New Songs, Plot Films. Billboard. January 10, 2008.
  14. ^ Maria Valiente (January 20, 2011). "Hellcats Star Aly Michalka Reveals AJ's Character's Name! – Hellcats". Wetpaint.com. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  15. ^ "'The Goldbergs' Promotes AJ Michalka to Series Regular (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. May 18, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  16. ^ "Los Angeles Film Festival Unveils Lineup". Hollywood Reporter. May 5, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  17. ^ "Watch our new series, All my friends are getting married". Popsugar. July 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  18. ^ "She-Ra gets a makeover! A first look at the new Netflix series and meet the cast". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 18, 2018.

External links[edit]