Born on August 1, 1986, Elijah Kelley was raised in LaGrange, Georgia. He is an American actor, dancer and singer, and graduated from Troup County High School. As a child, he performed in a gospel band, as well as appearing in many Coca-Cola commercials. His parents, wanting to keep their child practical, moved with him to Los Angeles when he decided to pursue a career in acting.
In 1998, Elijah Kelley was cast as Young Willie in a TV drama called Mama Flora’s Family. He next appeared in another television movie, A Lesson Before Dying. He was then given a role in 2000’s drama 28 Days, which starred Sandra Bullock and Viggo Mortensen. He then appeared as an extra in television series like the primetime cop drama The Shield, as well as in Everybody Hates Chris in 2005. The next year, he was given a small role in the series Numb3rs, where he portrayed a character named Anthony. His next film appearance was in Rome & Jewel. He also landed a part in the dance film Take the Lead, where he showed his skills in dancing and performance. He was given the role of Danjou, and was cast alongside Antonio Banderas. Elijah Kelley was also in the 2006 crime drama Heavens Fall. That year, he was given the role of Seaweed in the film version of the musical Hairspray. It was released in 2007, and also starred John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden and Zac Efron. The film’s success also marked Elijah Kelley’s career as a performer. He has also contributed a number of songs to the film’s soundtrack, including “Without Love” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat.” Kelley was also a guest of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2007, as well as on HBO First Look, because of his performance in Hairspray.