ATLANTA — Chris Kelly, from the 90s rap group “Kris Kross” was found unresponsive Wednesday evening inside his Atlanta home, WXIA-TV reported. He was pronounced dead at Atlanta Medical Center around 8 p.m. eastern. He was 34.
Kelly’s family released a statement about his death.
“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. — Donna Kelly Pratte (mother) & The So So Def Family”
Kelly’s death is being investigated as a drug overdose, Corp. Kay Lester with the Fulton County Police Department said Thursday.
Kelly, together with Chris Smith, shot to stardom in 1992 with the hit “Jump,” which spent eight weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. The two also were known for wearing their clothes backwards during performances.
Kelly and Smith were 13-year-olds when they were discovered in 1991 at an Atlanta mall by Jermaine Dupri, according to Billboard.com.