Updated on February 13, 2020
Melton was born in Juneau, Alaska, and was raised in Manhattan, Kansas, the son of Sukyong and Phil Melton. His family moved frequently because his father worked for the military. His mother is Korean and his father is American, who has Cherokee ancestry. He has a sister named Tammie.
He studied at Kansas State University. He also previously worked as a dog walker on the app Wag. He dropped out of college after two years to pursue acting and relocated to Los Angeles in 2014. He was first successful as a model, having booked gigs for Dolce & Gabbana, Kenneth Cole and MAC. His first acting roles included guest spots on Glee and American Horror Story.
His big break came when he was cast in the CW series Riverdale as Reggie Mantle in season 2. Melton replaced Ross Butler, who left the cast due to his commitment to 13 Reasons Why. After recurring on season 2, Melton officially became a series regular on Riverdale starting season 3. In 2019, he played the male lead, Daniel Bae, in The Sun Is Also a Star, the film adaptation of the book of the same name by Nicola Yoon. The film is Melton's first feature film. He starred opposite Yara Shahidi.
In June 2018, Melton was involved in a controversy over fat shaming tweets he had written in 2011 and 2012. He has since publicly apologized.