Shanelle was born in Fairfax, VA and moved to Los Angeles with her family when she was 13. Coming from a family of performers, Shanelle's brother, Jimmy, appeared as Pugsley in the Addams Family movies and her younger sister, Ariel, has appeared in numerous commercials.
Shanelle's first major acting job was at the age of 9 when she played Cossette in the Broadway production of Les Miserables. Her film credits include The Biggest Fan and The Skateboard Kid. She has also had guest appearances on television shows such as Step by Step, Murphy Brown, and Eerie, Indiana.
Shanelle is also an accomplished muscian who not only sings but writes her own music, some of which she has performed on the ABC soap One Life to Live.