Atlanta, GA -- Fans of the 1990s rap duo Kris Kross have been mourning the loss of Chris Kelly, who died Wednesday night of an apparent drug overdose at his home in Georgia. No official cause of death has been determined. He was 34.
Kelly - also known as "Mac Daddy" - and fellow Kris Kross member Chris Smith - known as "Daddy Mac" - made a name for themselves with their 1992 song Jump, which became a No. 1 hit in the USA and globally, and one of the most popular of that year. The group's album of the same year, Totally Krossed Out, went multi-platinum.
Kris Kross in its heyday was equally famous for its sartorial eccentricity, with Kelly and Smith often wearing their clothes backward and extra, extra baggy.
So So Def label boss Jermaine Dupri released the following statement on the record company's website:
Letter to the fans
To the world chris was MacDaddy but to me, he was a son I never had, as much as you may think I taught him, he taught me, god has blessed me to be in the presence of so many naturally talented people, and chris was one. his understanding of what we set out to do, from day one was always on point. his passion for the music, his love for doing shows, his want to better than everyone else, was always turnt up. when I think about it I spent more time with chris than damn near anybody in my whole life, so you can imagine how bad this hurts.
I will always love you chris, and I will never let the world forget you, may god bless your soul
Donna Kelly Pratte, Kelly's mother, and So So Def released a joint statement Wednesday night, seen by The Hollywood Reporter:
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.