AJ Michalka (born April 10, 1991) is an American actress, singer-songwriter, andmusician. 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.
Michalka was born in Torrance, California. She lived and grew up in Seattle, Washington and Southern California with her 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 Polish, German, English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. Michalka has been playing the piano since she was four 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.
She plays a variety of instruments such as acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, and bongos. She was a model forcatalogs. 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. 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. Michalka and her sister perform as the musical duo 78violet (formerly Aly & AJ). They have released two studio albums and a holiday album. The two are working on a new album, to be released in 2014. She was cast as a recurring character into The CW series Hellcats starring Ashley Tisdale and along with her sister Alyson 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.