Chris Kelly, the rapper best known as one-half of early ’90s rap sensation Kris Kross, died yesterday, May 1. Kelly was found unresponsive in his Atlanta home and taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said. Police told reporters that they will be investigating the death as a possible drug overdose. Kelly was 34.
Kelly’s mother issued a statement last night: “It is with deep sadness that we announce that our beloved Chris Kelly has passed away on May 1st,” she said. “To millions of fans worldwide, he was the trendsetting, backwards pants-wearing one-half of Kris Kross who loved making music. But to us, he was just Chris – the kind, generous and fun-loving life of the party. Though he was only with us a short time, we feel blessed to have been able to share some incredible moments with him. His legacy will live on through his music, and we will forever love him.”
Kris Kross, comprised of Kelly and his group mate Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith, were discovered at an Atlanta shopping mall when they were 13 and 12 years old; they had their biggest hit with “Jump” in 1992, which was #1 on the singles chart for eight weeks. Their debut album, Totally Krossed Out, also hit #1 and sold four million copies. They released two more albums before parting ways.
Revisit their biggest hit below:
Kris Kross — “Jump”
[via The Hollywood Reporter]