According to Associated Press reports, Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly of Kris Kross died Wednesday in an Atlanta hospital. He was 34.
Kelly and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith tore up the charts in 1992 with their debut album Totally Krossed Out, selling four million copies, and hit single “Jump”, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks. While Kelly was only 13, and Smith 12, the duo were a smash with teenage fans, particularly with their trend of wearing their clothes backwards.
Discovered by a young Jermaine Dupri while performing at an Atlanta shopping mall, Kris Kross would come to release their debut on Ruffhouse Records after Dupri persuaded them to sign to the label. The entertainment industry soon fell in love with them, and Kelly and Smith would go on to be featured in music videos alongside Michael Jackson, Run D.M.C. and TLC, as well in guest spots on A Different World and In Living Color. Kris Kross would also join Michael Jackson to open for him on his 1992 “Dangerous World Tour”.
The charming duo were unable to duplicate their enormous debut success, however, falling short with 1993′s Da Bomb and 1996′s Young, Rich & Dangerous. Kelly and Smith chose to go their separate ways after their third album, but failed to achieve much fame with their solo careers. The two reunited for their last performance together, earlier this year, at the 20th Anniversary Concert for Dupri’s label So So Def.
Police are yet to release the exact cause of Kelly’s death, but reports have shown they have reason to believe drugs were involved.