Chris Kelly of rap group Kris Kross dies at 34

The rapper died of an apparent drug overdose

By Prachi Gupta

Published May 2, 2013 1:00PM (EDT)

Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly, one half of the beloved 1990s rap duo Kris Kross, is dead at 34.

Kelly and Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith, two teenagers whose gimmick included wearing baggy clothes backwards, rose to international stardom in 1992 with their multiplatinum debut album, "Totally Krossed Out," which carried their hit single, "Jump."

According to the authorities, Kelly died of an apparent drug overdose on Wednesday after being taken to an Atlanta hospital.

Kelly's mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, and music producer Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def label have released 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.”

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Chris Kelly Death Kriss Kross Mac Daddy Obituary Rap