Rapper Chris Kelly of duo Kris Kross dead Tribune wire report
6:02 AM CDT, May 2, 2013
Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly, half of the 1990s teen rap duo Kris Kross, died at an Atlanta hospital Wednesday at the age of 34, according to a Fulton County Medical Examiner’s spokesman.
Dumonder Dawson, an investigator for the medical examiner’s office, said Kelly died on Wednesday evening. He declined to discuss the cause of the rapper’s death.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper reported that Kelly had been found unresponsive at his home and that an autopsy had been scheduled for Thursday morning.
Kelly and his Kris Kross partner Chris Smith were discovered in an Atlanta mall in 1992 by music producer Jermaine Dupri. Known for wearing their clothes backwards, Kris Kross’ first hit single “Jump” catapulted the duo to instant fame: They toured with Michael Jackson and had their own video game. It was short-lived, however. They were never able to recreate the success surrounding that first song.
Earlier this year, the guys reunited to perform at the 20th anniversary party for Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def label in Atlanta.
So So Def released a joint statement with Kelly’s mother, Donna Kelly Pratte:
“It is with deep sadness that we announce that our beloved Chris Kelly has passed away on May 1. To millions of fans worldwide, he was the trendsetting, backwards pants-wearing one-half of Kris, 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.”