Kris Kross star Chris 'mac Daddy' Kelly died from a drug overdose, a coroner has ruled. The rapper was pronounced dead at a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia on 1 May (13) after he was found unresponsive at his home in the city.
An autopsy was carried out the next day (02May13) and now officials at the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office in Atlanta, Georgia has ruled drugs as the official cause of death following the return of toxicology results.
Kelly struggled with substance abuse for years, and reportedly used both cocaine and heroin on the eve of his passing.
His death came three months after Kelly reunited with his Kriss Kross bandmate Chris 'Daddy Mac' Smith in February (13) for a special concert to mark the 20th anniversary of producer Jermaine Dupri's label So So Def Recordings, the company the duo was signed to at the height of their fame in the early 1990s.
Former child star Chris Smith fought back tears on Thursday (09May13) as he paid tribute to his tragic Kris Kross bandmate Chris Kelly at his funeral in Atlanta, Georgia. Hip-hop producer Jermaine Dupri, who discovered the duo as pre-teens, joined rapper Da Brat and Xscape singers La Tocha and Tamika Scott among the mourners at the Jackson Baptist Memorial Church as they bid a final farewell to the Jump hitmaker, known as Mac Daddy.
Dupri and Da Brat also wore their trousers backwards as a nod to the legacy of Kris Kross, who started the fashion trend when they rose to fame in the early 1990s.
Smith, aka Daddy Mac, delivered a touching eulogy to this longtime pal at the service, but had to wipe away tears as he told the crowd "it's been a struggle" to come to terms with the sudden loss.
He added, "I know Chris is in heaven. He was a true friend... I just wanna say I love you, man... and I'm gonna miss you dearly...
"My life... it ain't (sic) ever gonna be the same, but I just hope our legacy for hip-hop is never forgotten. I'm gonna do my part to make sure Chris' legacy will live on."
R&B star Keke Wyatt and the Scott sisters performed during the ceremony, which took place a day after fans were invited to pay their respects to the late star at a public wake.
Kelly, who battled substance abuse issues in the past, died on 1 May (13) from a suspected overdose. He was 34.
Mourners gathered in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday (08May13) to remember tragic rapper Chris Kelly at a public wake. Fans and loved ones were greeted with an acoustic version of Kris Kross' Jump upon entering the Murray Brothers Funeral Home for the open-casket viewing, held a day before the star's planned funeral.
Kelly was dressed in all black, while a sign attached to the coffin lid read "'Cause that's what I was born to do..." - a line from the Kriss Kross track Warm It Up.
The star's uncle Lemar Williams told an Associated Press reporter outside the wake, "He will be very missed, especially within our family. To the world he was Kris Kross, but to us he was just Chris."
The 34 year old was pronounced dead at Atlanta Medical Center on 1 May (13) from a suspected overdose.
Tragic rapper Chris Kelly will be laid to rest in his native Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday (09May13). The funeral service for the Kris Kross star will be preceded by a public viewing on Wednesday (08May13).
The Jump hitmaker, aka Mac Daddy, was pronounced dead at Atlanta Medical Center on 1 May (13) from a suspected overdose. He was 34.
Atlanta's biggest hip-hop stars are expected to attend the funeral.
Music mogul Jermaine Dupri is convinced he could have helped tragic Kris Kross star Chris 'mac Daddy' Kelly if he had known about his drug use. The rap star died of a suspected drug overdose on Wednesday (01May13) after reportedly using both cocaine and heroin the night before his passing.
His former mentor Dupri, who discovered Kelly and his Kris Kross bandmate Chris 'Daddy Mac' Smith in 1990, admits he had no idea how serious his substance abuse trouble was, and wishes he could have intervened to save him.
Dupri tells Us Weekly, "If I would have known, I would have tried to put my foot forward to help the situation. I'm hearing about this (alleged overdose) just like everybody else and I'm not really too believing of all of it (sic), but at the same time, I can't say that I didn't know. I wasn't there to know about it and I hate it because I feel like if there were people around and knew about it, then they should have waved the flag."
An autopsy has been completed, but officials are waiting on toxicology results before releasing the cause of death.
Meanwhile, TLC stars Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas and Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins have added heartfelt tributes to their pal.
Watkins says, "It breaks my heart to see another young talent gone too soon. I will never forget the chance I was given by Jermaine Dupri and Kris Kross to sing on their demos. They played a big part in me finding my signature sound. I will forever be grateful. I send my love and blessings to Chris' family."
Thomas adds, "I used to hang out at his house with his mum and pick him up. He was like a teenager and just the sweetest thing, just a regular cool teenage boy, so we were really close... He was really sweet, very down to earth... They were huge (but) he had a really humble spirit."
Chris 'daddy Mac' Smith has broken his silence following the death of his Kris Kross bandmate Chris 'mac Daddy' Kelly on Wednesday (01May13), insisting he will "always cherish the memories" of their friendship. The 34 year old was pronounced dead at a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia after he was found unresponsive at his home in the city, and stars including Sean 'Diddy' Combs, LL Cool J and Nicki Minaj took to Twitter.com to pay their respects to the star, who was discovered in an Atlanta shopping mall by Jermaine Dupri in 1990.
Now Smith has added his tribute to his close pal in a statement, which reads: "Chris Kelly was my Best Friend. He was like a brother. I love him and will miss him dearly.
"Our friendship began as little boys in first grade. We grew up together. It was a blessing to achieve the success, travel the world and entertain Kris Kross fans all around the world (sic) with my best friend. It is what we wanted to do and what brought us happiness. I will always cherish the memories of the C-Connection. Kris Kross forever."
Smith's autopsy was carried out on Thursday (02May13) and there was no indication of foul play. Cops are investigating the possibility that drugs were involved in the rapper's death.
The tragic passing of Chris Kelly, one half of the '90s hip-hop duo Kris Kross, is bound to weigh on the hearts of his fans. Just a glance at the statement released by Kelly's performing partner and friend Chris Smith, via E!, is enough to conjure up a steady flow of tears:
"Chris Kelly was my Best Friend. He was like a brother. I love him and will miss him dearly. Our friendship began as little boys in first grade. We grew up together. It was a blessing to achieve the success, travel the world and entertain Kris Kross fans all around the world with my best friend. It is what we wanted to do and what brought us happiness. I will always cherish the memories of the C-Connection."
But what's just as important as our sensitivity to the death of a beloved artist is our celebration of his life and work. The 1990s had legions of fans entertained by Kris Kross' upbeat, wholesome, good-natured songs — cheerful hits about bus rides to school and heavier numbers about the dangers of crime and violence. The young duo's career gave us a handful of memorable entries, and we've rounded up some of our favorites in honor of "Mac Daddy" Kelly and his work with friend and fellow artist, "Daddy Mac" Smith:
"I Missed the Bus"
"Warm It Up"
"Live and Die for Hip Hop"
"It's a Shame"
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
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"Today a hip-hop soldier has fallen, I will pay respect by wearing my clothes backwards. Kris Kross." Rapper Vanilla Ice pledges to wear his clothes backwards on Thursday (02May13) in tribute to Kris Kross star Chris Kelly's unusual fashion style. Kelly died on Wednesday (01May13).
Kris Kross star Chris 'mac Daddy' Kelly died of a suspected drug overdose, according to police investigating the rapper's passing. The 34 year old was found unresponsive at his home in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday (01May13) and later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
An autopsy is expected to take place on Thursday (02May13), but cops have now revealed they are investigating the possibility that drugs were involved.
Corporal Kay Lester, a spokeswoman for the Fulton County police, tells the Associated Press, "It appears it may have been a possible drug overdose."
The star's mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, has also released a statement in conjunction with Kris Kross' So So Def Recordings label. It reads, "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."
Music mogul Jermaine Dupri, who discovered Kris Kross in 1990 when the boys were performing in an Atlanta shopping mall, has also written a heartfelt tribute to Kelly, describing him as "a son I never had".
He writes, "To the world, Chris was Mac Daddy, but to me, he was a son I never had. As much as you think I taught him, he taught me... I spent more time with Chris (Kelly) and (bandmate) Chris (Smith) 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."
Rockers Deftones paid tribute to late Kris Kross star Chris 'mac Daddy' Kelly by covering the band's most famous song at a gig just hours after news of his death broke. The 34-year-old hip-hop star was found unresponsive at his home in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday (01May13) and later pronounced dead at a local hospital, prompting an outpouring of grief from fans and famous followers.
Deftones decided to honour Kelly in their own special way by covering Kris Kross' Jump during a gig in St. Louis, Missouri, and they also turned their clothing back-to-front in reference to the rappers' unique style.
Frontman Chino Moreno told the crowd, "We got word that a member of Kriss Kross has passed. I know it's not a good thing but we represent 'boing boing boing' tonight... Kris Kross'll make you (jump jump)," before pointing to the band's drummer and adding, "Look at this guy, he's even got his pants inside out."
The band then launched into a rock version of Jump.