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Amanda Joy 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, titled "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 had a successful acting career, and after two seasons in a recurring role as Lainey Lewis on the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs, she was promoted to a regular role on the series for the third season. Michalka was demoted to recurring status for the fifth season as her character went to college and thus was in fewer storylines. The character drops out of college in the fifth season but continues to appear. She has starred with her Goldbergs colleagues Tim Meadows and Bryan Callen in the spin-off Schooled since January 2019. Michalka also has a lead role in the Netflix series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, in which she voices Catra, the former best friend and current rival to She-Ra.[3]

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

(1991-04-10) April 10, 1991 (age 28)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation
  • Actress
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • guitarist
Years active2002–present
RelativesAly Michalka (sister)
Musical career
Also known asAmanda Michalka
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
Labels
Associated actsAly & AJ

Contents

Early lifeEdit

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 played the piano since she was six and started playing the guitar in her early life. She started acting when she was five, mostly in church play productions. She was raised as a Christian and 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] She is of German, English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh descent.

CareerEdit

 
Michalka performing in 2007

She plays a variety of instruments such as acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and piano. She was a model for catalogs. In 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 appeared on shows such as Oliver Beene, Six Feet Under, The Guardian, and General Hospital.[7][8][9][10] She and her sister appeared 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.[11]

From 2009 to 2013 Michalka and her sister performed as the musical duo 78violet. They decided to change its name back to "Aly and AJ" in 2015. She was cast as a recurring character on The CW series Hellcats[12] starring Ashley Tisdale and 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 was 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. In May 2015 it was announced that she would be a series regular for the show's upcoming third season.[13] In July 2014 she and her sister 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, with her sister and Ringer, and participated in the casting process. In May 2015 it was announced that the film, Weepah Way for Now, would premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 16, 2015. The film was released on DVD, iTunes, and other streaming platforms in June 2016.[14]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

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

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Passions Sheridan's Daughter 1 episode
2002 Birds of Prey Young Dinah Lance Episode: "Pilot"
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 Episode: "May 29, 2007"
2007 Super Sweet 16: The Movie Sara Connors 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) Recurring character
2016 Cupcake Wars Herself / Contestant Celebrity special
2016 All My Friends Are Getting Married Chloe 6 episodes
2018–present She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Catra (voice) Main role
2019–present Schooled Lainey Lewis Main role

Music videosEdit

Year Title Artist Role Ref.
2012 "Gotten" Slash featuring Adam Levine Joanna Martin [15]

DiscographyEdit

SoloEdit

Year Title Album
2010 "It's Who You Are" Secretariat
2013 "All I've Ever Needed" Grace Unplugged
"Desert Song"
"You Never Let Go"
"Misunderstood"
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)
2018 "We Deserve to Shine" (with the Cast of Steven Universe) non-album single
2019 "Escapism" (with Zach Callison and Grace Rolek) Steven Universe: Vol. 2 (Original Soundtrack)

Awards and nominationsEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Semigran, Aly (August 14, 2009). "Aly Michalka, actor and musician". Entertainment Weekly.
  2. ^ "Family Tree Legends". Family Tree Legends. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  3. ^ "She-Ra gets a makeover! A first look at the new Netflix series and meet the cast". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 18, 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. ^ Brio https://web.archive.org/web/20100325220038/http://www.briomag.com/briomagazine/entertainment/a0007094.html. Archived from the original on March 25, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Argyrakis, Andy (November 14, 2005). "Away from the Rush". Christianity Today. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  11. ^ Graff, Gary (January 10, 2008). "Aly & AJ Writing New Songs, Plot Films". Billboard. Brightspot. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  12. ^ Valiente, Maria (January 20, 2011). "Hellcats Star Aly Michalka Reveals AJ's Character's Name!". Wetpaint.com. Archived from the original on March 18, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  13. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 18, 2015). "'The Goldbergs' Promotes AJ Michalka to Series Regular". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  14. ^ Kilday, Gregg (May 5, 2015). "Los Angeles Film Festival Unveils Lineup". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  15. ^ Slash – Gotten featuring Adam Levine on YouTube

External linksEdit