×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chris Kelly Dead: Kris Kross Rapper was 34

Duo had hit with 'Jump'

Chris Kelly (right), one half of the multiplatinum 1990s kiddie-rap duo Kris Kross, died in an Atlanta hospital on Wednesday after being discovered unresponsive in his home. He was 34.

Kelly’s cause of death has yet to be determined, though a local police spokesperson speculated that a drug overdose may have been involved.

Along with bandmate Chris Smith, the 13-year-old Kelly was discovered in an Atlanta mall in 1991 by 18-year-old aspiring producer Jermaine Dupri, who went on to shepherd all the duo’s releases. Securing the group a deal with Ruffhouse Records, Dupri fashioned the act’s distinctive backwards clothes image and wrote and produced debut LP “Totally Krossed Out.”

Released in 1992, the record was a smash – first single “Jump” topped the chart for eight straight weeks, and the album eventually went quadruple platinum. Second single “Warm It Up” hit No. 1 on the rap singles chart, and a promo blitz saw the group also launch its own videogame and open for Michael Jackson on his “Dangerous” world tour.

Momentum slowed for 1993 follow-up “Da Bomb,” which topped out at No. 13 on the album chart yet still went platinum. After an inactive spell, the two released a third album, “Young, Rich and Dangerous,” to modest sales in 1996, though single “Tonite’s tha Night” topped the rap singles chart.

After fading from public consciousness, Kelly and Smith reunited this year to perform at a concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of Dupri’s So So Def label. Dupri paid tribute to Kelly on his website last night, calling him “a son I never had.”

More Music

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Charged With Multiple Counts of Sexual Abuse

    The Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said in a press release on Friday that she will be announcing charges against R. Kelly this afternoon. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the singer will be charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and will have his first court date on March 8. More to [...]

  • Lil Pump Harverd Dropout cover

    Album Review: Lil Pump's 'Harverd Dropout'

    On the cover of “Harverd Dropout,” the sophomore album from Miami rapper Lil Pump, the young MC is tossing homework papers in the air and looking rakish with his graduation cap askew, while wearing a robe emblazoned with the misspelled university name from his new full-length’s title. If this is meant to signal some sort [...]

  • Imagine Dragons - Dan ReynoldsImagine Dragons

    Imagine Dragons Topples Nickelback as World's Worst Band, Says Slipknot Frontman

    Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor has chosen Nickelback’s successor as the most reviled band on earth: Imagine Dragons. During an interview on Tuesday, February 19, conducted by Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones for his  radio show, “Jonesy’s Jukebox,” on Los Angeles’ KLOS, Jones made a comment about Nickelback being the “scapegoat of rock [...]

  • Behind the Hit: How Diplo Found

    Hitmaker of the Month: How Diplo Found Dance-Pop Perfection With 'Electricity'

    The third time was a charm for super-producer duo Silk City, the first collaboration between longtime friends Diplo (A.K.A. Thomas Wesley Pentz, Jr.) and Mark Ronson, who between them have worked with everyone from M.I.A. and Madonna and Beyonce (Diplo) to Lady Gaga and Amy Winehouse and Bruno Mars (Ronson). After releasing the pair of [...]

  • Jussie Smollett court

    Jussie Smollett's Attorneys Say He Was Victim of Police 'Spectacle'

    Jussie Smollett’s legal team issued a defiant statement on Thursday night, saying the “Empire” actor feels betrayed by the justice system and hinting at a political motive for his prosecution. Smollett was arrested early Thursday on a felony charge of filing a false police report. He was released after a court hearing on $100,000 bond, [...]

  • Best Score Nominee Alexandre Desplat Is

    Best Score Nominee Alexandre Desplat to Skip Oscar Ceremony

    Best score nominee Alexandre Desplat will be unable to attend Sunday’s Oscar ceremonies because of recent throat surgery, a rep for the composer confirms. The French native, already a two-time Oscar winner (for 2014’s “Grand Budapest Hotel” and 2017’s “The Shape of Water”), is nominated this year for his Japanese-flavored score for Wes Anderson’s “Isle [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content