Chris Kelly, half of the rap duo Kris Kross, died Wednesday in Atlanta of a possible overdose, police say.
ATLANTA — Chris Kelly, half of the 1990s kid rap duo Kris Kross that made one of the decade's most memorable songs with the frenetic "Jump," has died, according to authorities. He was 34.
"It appears it may have been a possible drug overdose," said Cpl. Kay Lester, a spokeswoman for the Fulton County police. Lester said that was based on statements received at the scene as well as evidence turned up
Chris Kelly of Kris Kross dead at 34
at Kelly's home in south Atlanta.
According to Lester, police were called to Kelly's home at around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was then transported to the south campus of the Atlanta Medical Center.
Investigator Betty Honey of the Fulton County Medical Examiner's office said Kelly was pronounced dead at the hospital at around 5 p.m. Wednesday.
No official cause of death has been determined, pending an autopsy.
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Kelly, known as "Mac Daddy," and Chris Smith, known as "Daddy Mac," were introduced to the music world in 1992 by music producer and rapper Jermaine Dupri after he discovered the pair in an Atlanta mall. The duo wore their clothes backward as a gimmick, but they won over fans with their raps.
"To the world Chris was Mac Daddy, but to me, he was a son I never had," Dupri said in a statement Thursday.
"When I think about it, I spent more time with Chris and Chris than damn near anybody in my whole life, so you can imagine how bad this hurts," Dupri added. "I will always love you, Chris, and I will never let the world forget you, may God bless your soul."
The duo's first, and by far most successful song, was "Jump." The hit, off their multiplatinum 1992 debut album "Totally Krossed Out," featured the two trading verses and rapping the refrain, the song's title. The duo had surprising maturity in their rap delivery, though the song was written by Dupri. It would become a No. 1 smash in the United States and globally, and one of the most popular of that year.
Their success led to instant fame: They toured with Michael Jackson, appeared on TV shows and even had their own video game.
The duo was never able to match the tremendous success of their first song, though they had other hits like "Warm It Up" and "Tonite's Tha Night."
Earlier this year, the two performed together to celebrate the anniversary of Durpri's label, So So Def.
In 2009, after photos surfaced that showed Kelly with bald spots on his head, there were rumors he had cancer. But in an interview posted on YouTube by Straight From the A TV, he said he suffered from alopecia, a condition in which people lose their hair.
"My health is good, I just got alopecia, I don't have cancer, not other sort of diseases," he said.
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