Elijah Kelley was born and raised in LaGrange, Georgia on August 1, 1986.
He attended Long Cane Middle School and Troup County High School where he joined in the school's choir. As a child, he starred in Coca-Cola commercials and played a role in the film Mamma Flora's Family. He also performed in a church choir and gospel band with his family. He moved to California after graduating from
He starred as Seaweed in the 2007 film adaption of the John Water's film Hairspray alongside Amanda Bynes, Nikki Blonsky, Zac Efron John Travolta and Queen Latifah.
On December 3, 2015 he portrayed the Scarecrow in The Wiz Live! Dorothy comes across him in a nearby cornfield, he asks her for money to get brains, but the crows taunt him and take away every money he gets. After Dorothy frightens them away she invites him on her journey to get a brain from the Wizard.