Alyson Renae Michalka was born in Torrance, CA. Raised in a strict Christian household along with her sister Amanda, the future star learned how to play the piano at five and the guitar at 13. As a young girl, the curly-haired and pouty-lipped Michalka began acting in local church play productions, and made her television debut on the futuristic Disney Channel series, "Phil of the Future." She played a bubbly teen named Keely whose best friend Phil (Ricky Ullman) and his quirky family members were visitors from the year 2121. Michalka made her television movie debut on the kid-friendly network when she starred in "Now You See It " (Disney Channel, 2005), playing an aspiring reality TV producer who befriends a young magician (Johnny Pacar). Just when Michalka's acting career blossomed, she took on another ambitious project. Alongside her younger sister Amanda, the duo formed the pop/rock music group, Aly & AJ, and released their debut album Into the Rush in 2005. The album, certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, yielded the hits "Rush" and "Chemicals React." The group's second album Insomniatic fared even better on the charts, thanks to the lead single, "Potential Breakup Song," which became a heartbreak anthem for millions of teen girls. The talented sisters collaborated out of the recording studio as well.They also co-starred in the Disney Channel movie "Cow Belles" as a pair of spoiled heiresses who trade in their handbags and stilettos for hairnets and aprons in order to save their father's dairy business. Such projects in music and acting turned Michalka and her sister into teen superstars alongside fellow Disney Channel discoveries like Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers. Like them, Michalka was quite vocal about her Christian faith and upbringing. Aly & AJ's music played not only on Top 40 radio but also on Christian rock stations. The sisters stirred up minor controversy after a 2006 interview with Blender magazine by proclaiming, "Evolution is silly. Monkeys? Um, no." In the same interview, the Michalka siblings said that even though their music comes from a Christian standpoint, they did intend to preach their religion to anyone else.In an effort to prove they had matured and evolved since their debut album, Aly & AJ announced in 2008 that the group had changed its name to 78Violet. The sisters also ventured into solo projects, including Michalka's starring role opposite "High School Musical" (2006) star Vanessa Hudgens in the coming-of-age film, "Bandslam" (2009). Michalka played a popular cheerleader who joins a struggling indie rock band made up of her school's outsiders. She further pushed away from her Disney Channel persona with a pair of more mature projects in 2010 - the dark teen comedy "Easy A," a feature film about a high school student (Emma Stone) who uses a malicious rumor to advance her social status, and the television comedy/drama "Hellcats." In the latter, Michalka starred as Marti, a tough-as-nails pre-law college student in Memphis, TN who loses her scholarship and ends up joining her university's cheer team. Her character finds not everything is pep and pizzazz in cheerleading after clashing with team captain Savannah, played by another Disney alum, Ashley Tisdale. The series was based on journalist Kate Torgovnick's 2008 book, Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders.