[THROWBACK: TLC, Kris Kross & Marky Mark on Oprah… (VIDEO)]
Word spread quickly through Atlanta’s tight knit entertainment community last night that Kelly had died at his home from unknown causes… and since there’s been many a celebrity “killed” on the internet, I decided to inquire with a few sources close to the rapper before moving forward with the news.
On a related note, I interviewed Kelly at his home several years ago when an unfounded internet rumor spread about his health and at that time, he adamantly disputed that he had any health issues.
Around 9:30pm last night I received a text from an industry source that confirmed the horrible news was true… Chris ‘Mac Daddy’ Kelly from the Atlanta rap group Kris Kross was gone.
The AJC posted the news at approx. 9:57 stating that Kelly died Wednesday afternoon after being found unresponsive in his Atlanta area home.
Kelly, 34, was part of the 90s duo Kris Kross, known for their backward clothes and hit song “Jump” from the group’s 1992 debut album.
An Atlanta native, Kelly and the other half of the duo, Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith, were just 13-years old when they were discovered by Jermaine Dupri at Greenbriar Mall back in 1991.
Kris Kross was one of the first acts Dupri signed to his So So Def Records label, and the duo reunited to rejuvenate their rap career last February, where they amongst many on Dupri’s label who performed during SoSo Def’s 20th Anniversary concert.
According to the AJC, Kelly was found unresponsive at his home and transported to Atlanta Medical Center, where he was subsequently pronounced dead but the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Fulton County police Cpl. Kay Lester told the AJC that Kelly’s death is being investigated as a drug overdose. An autopsy is planned for Thursday morning to determine the official cause of death.
Just hours after the news hit the media, Kelly’s mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, and the So So Def Family issued the following statement:
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 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.
The group Kris Kross was most notably known for “Jump,” which was their most famous song. “Jump” was a track on the group’s debut album, “Totally Krossed Out.”