Chris Kelly, former member of the 90’s hip-hop group Kriss Kross, has died at the of age 34.
In a statement investigator Betty Honey of the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office said she pronounced Chris Kelly dead around 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the Atlanta Medical Center.
Betty Honey said authorities are unsure of Chris Kelly’s cause of death and that an autopsy has yet to be performed.
Legendary Atlanta radio host DJ Greg Street said Chris Kelly’s cousin had phoned him with the news.
“Around 7.45 I received a phone call from his cousin saying they had found Kelly at the house just 20 minutes earlier and he was unresponsive,” Greg Street wrote.
“I just received confirmation that he has passed.”
Twitter quickly became alive with condolences from celebrities and friends alike.
Fellow rapper and actor LL Cool J dedicated a song to the departed rapper, tweeting: “R.I.P Chris Kelly. This song is now officially dedicated to you. May GOD embrace your soul & lift up your family.”
Chris Kelly, known as Mac Daddy, performed alongside Chris Smith, known as Daddy Mac, in the early and mid-90s.
The duo might be best remembered for the song Jump from their 1992 debut album, Totally Krossed Out, which sold four million copies in the US, hit double platinum and topped the Billboard charts for eight straight weeks.
The 13-year-old rapping duo were discovered at an Atlanta mall in 1990 by then 18-year-old rising star Jermaine Dupri, who helped them to record the aforementioned life-changing album.
In 1992, Kriss Kross landed a spot on Michael Jackson’s Dangerous world tour, as well as a cameo appearance on his popular Jam music video.
Their own music video for Jump shot to number one on MTV and sold over 100,000 copies as a VHS video single.
Their second and third albums also went platinum and gold respectively, but didn’t achieve the success of their first album, due in part to the fact that the teenagers had hit puberty and were marketed with a tougher image.
Kris Kross was also noted for their fashion style, which consisted of wearing their clothing backwards.
Chris Kelly and Chris Smith had reunited once more to star at a 20th anniversary all-star concert honoring So So Def Recordings in Atlanta in February.
“Me and him, we have our times when we don’t talk and our times that we do talk,” Chris Kelly told Yahoo Music when asked about his friendship with fellow rapping partner Smith shortly before their reunion.
“But if it’s any time that I needed him or needed to reach him it was never a problem.”
Chris Kelly had also been broadening his talents, going to back to school to become a musical engineer.
“I just wanted to do something different,” he said.
“Get more on the technical side of things than just being an artist, and produce. I just wanted to be [the] all around best I could be as far as doing everything.”