Chris Kelly, the “Mac Daddy” of the 1990s teen rap dup Kris Kross, was found dead on Wednesday (May 1) due to a possible drug overdose, according to reports. Chris’ mother Donna Kelly Pratte didn’t comment on the cause of death but she did issue a statement on the matter.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce that our beloved Chris Kelly has passed away today. 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
After hearing the news, DJ Greg Street took to V-103/Atlanta to share his insight:
“Sad to hear the loss of my lil homie, Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly. I met him and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith in ’93… Everyone knows Kriss Kross for their music and the crazy way they used to dress, but once they started working with So So Def, they became family. “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.”
As a 13 year-old kid who was discovered by Jermaine Dupri in a mall, Kelly and partner Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith helped launch Dupri’s influential So So Def label. Their multi-platinum debut, Totally Crossed Out was released in 1992 and showcased their trademark backwards style of dress.
After falling out of the public eye for more than a decade, Kelly and Smith performed at the So So Def 20th Anniversary concert in February.
Kelly was found unresponsive and transported to Atlanta Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, reports the AJC. Authorities are investigating the death as a drug overdose but an autopsy is planned for Thursday morning to determine the official cause of death, according to the AJC. Kelly was 34.