Kelly was born in Davenport, Florida. Because of the difficult circumstances between his biological parents, Kelly was legally adopted at the age of 5 by his aunt and uncle, moving to Nashville, Tennessee, and then Sonestown, Pennsylvania. He has sung professionally since the age of 9, performing at festivals and fairs and opening for such acts as Charlie Daniels, Loretta Lynn, Emerson Drive, Bill Anderson and The Marshall Tucker Band. At 11, he was a finalist on PAX-TV’s America’s Most Talented Kid.
After being eliminated, Kelly appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.On May 10, 2010 he performed on Late Show with David Letterman, Access Hollywood, and May 11, 2010 on The Wendy Williams Show. Kelly says he plans to record a country album and started the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2010 on July 1, 2010. Kelly sang “Somebody Like You”, “Walking in Memphis” and “Fast Cars and Freedom.” He also sang in group performances of “The Climb” and “It’s My Life”.