AJ MICHALKA (Grace Trey) has demonstrated her talent and versatility as a successful actress, musician and songwriter, with The Hollywood Reporter naming her in 2008 as one of the "Top 25 Performers Under 18 That Will Be Shaking Up Hollywood." She recently wrapped production on the independent feature film JESUS IN COWBOY BOOTS, starring alongside Alicia Silverstone and Billy Burke. In addition to her leading role, Michalka served as a co-producer on the film, which was taken to this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Even at her young age of 22, Michalka carries a reputation as a tremendous character actress, developing strong relationships with directors such as J.J. Abrams and Peter Jackson. In 2010 she starred opposite Diane Lane and John Malkovich in the Walt Disney Pictures feature film SECRETARIAT, based on the life story of Penny Chenery, owner of the racehorse Secretariat, who won the Triple Crown in 1973. She then went on to shoot the much anticipated J.J. Abrams film SUPER 8, released in 2011. Michalka also co-starred in the Paramount Pictures feature film THE LOVELY BONES alongside Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz and Saoirse Ronan. The film, directed by Academy Award winner Peter Jackson, is an adaptation of the bestselling novel about a young girl who has been murdered and is watching over her family and friends from heaven.
Michalka began her acting career with several roles in television. She starred in the CBS series THE GUARDIAN for two seasons as well as the Fox series OLIVER BEENE. She also starred in the Disney Channel film COW BELLES, the Disney pilot HAVERSHAM HALL, and the MTV original movie, SUPER SWEET SIXTEEN: THE MOVIE.
Michalka is perhaps best known for her musical talents. She recently finished writing and recording a much anticipated new album, a collaboration with her sister Aly Michalka. The duo, previously known as Aly & AJ, is now known as 78violet. Under this moniker, Michalka and her sister, who share an account on Twitter, have accumulated nearly one million followers. They recently produced a music video for their upcoming single HOTHOUSE under their production company banner Violet House Productions.
In addition to singing and songwriting, Michalka is an accomplished musician, playing guitar, piano and percussion. As a member of Aly & AJ, she released two hit albums with Hollywood Records, helping her and her sister Aly become platinum-selling recording artists at a very young age. In 2006, Aly & AJ were nominated for their first American Music Award. They have written all of the songs on their two hit records, and their holiday release ACOUSTIC HEARTS OF WINTER was one of the bestselling Christmas albums of 2006. Their hit single, POTENTIAL BREAKUP SONG, was noted in Time Magazine as one of the Top 10 Songs of the Year for 2007 and has been RIAA certified with sales of more than one million downloads. The music video for the single has scored over 45 million views on YouTube.
In 2006 and 2007, Aly & AJ had two consecutive sold-out tours, headlining amphitheaters and arenas across the United States, as well as finding international success in Japan and the UK. The duo contributed to the soundtracks for the films THE GAME PLAN, HERBIE FULLY LOADED, ICE PRINCESS, BANDSLAM, as well as writing the theme song for the CW television drama HELLCATS. Separately, Ms. Michalka recorded IT\0x02BCS WHO YOU ARE, the theme song for her film SECRETARIAT, also filming the accompanying music video. She recorded four songs for the GRACE UNPLUGGED soundtrack, with a first single to be released to radio in May 2013.
Michalka is presently engaged in numerous endeavors outside of acting and singing. Ms. Michalka contributed to the Penguin Books 4-book series for tweens called Aly & AJ's Rock 'n Roll Mysteries. Aly & AJ also partnered with Performance Designed Products (PDP) to launch a line of video game accessories targeted at female gamers. The accessories debuted with a signature line of guitar controllers compatible with Wii, Guitar Hero, and Rock Band. Ms. Michalka is very involved in philanthropic activities, supporting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation and Race to Erase MS. In addition, she is the Youth Ambassador for Return to Freedom, a non-profit wild horse sanctuary. Previously, she was a co-chair of the AmberWatch Foundation, an organization that promotes child safety and awareness.
She currently resides in Los Angeles.