Laura Marano (born November 29, 1995) is an American actress and singer, best known for her starring role in the Disney Channel series Austin & Ally as Ally Dawson. Marano was one of the five original classmates in Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?. She starred in Without a Trace for three seasons and also Back to You, in both instances playing the daughter of the main characters. Marano starred in the indie film A Sort of Homecoming. Marano also starred in the 2015 Disney Channel Original Movie Bad Hair Day along with Good Luck Charlie actress Leigh-Allyn Baker. In 2015, she signed with Big Machine Records and released her debut single "Boombox" on March 11, 2016. At the end of 2016, Big Machine Records made the decision to drop all of their pop artists. Marano then signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2017 and plans to release her debut album with the label. She is also the younger sister of actress Vanessa Marano who starred in Freeform's Switched at Birth.