In terrible news, Chris Kelly of the hip hop group Kris Kross, passed away on Wednesday, May 1st at the young age of 34. He was found un-responsive in his home in Atlanta. The group that became a phenomenon at the age of 13 had hits like Jump and Warm It Up Kris to accompany their sold out concerts and multi platinum records. I was a huge Kris Kross fan when I was little and like many fans, I am deeply saddened by this news.
The cause of death is not certain. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow, however, a rep with the Fulton County Police Department tells CBS Atlanta that it appears he died of a drug overdose.
Greg Street of V-103 was close friends with Chris and broke the news via Twitter:
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. I just received confirmation that he has passed.
Meanwhile, Akini Jeffrey, producer of 94.5′s Streetz Morning Grind describes his last conversation with Chris Kelly early this morning:
I was extremely shocked to hear of his passing because I actually called him this morning at the radio station around 7:52am. Basically, I was doing show prep and came across a blog site that had his birthday posted as today. I was trying to remember if that was correct because I remembered it being August 11.
I just randomly called him to get him on the air to see if it was true and wish him a happy birthday, and he answered the phone. You can tell there was a lot going on in the background. Chris said to someone, “It’s Akini from the radio station, baby”. He also went on the apologize to me for not showing up to a radio interview that I had him scheduled for back February for the So So Def reunion.
Chris also stated “Tell everybody in Atl I said what’s up.”
Jermaine Dupri rose to fame after discovering the two Chris’ shopping in a mall in Atlanta. He went on to produce their hit albums and mentor them. Because of the success of Kris Kross, Jermaine went on to create So So Def records and produce Xscape, Usher, Mariah Carey and many more. A few months ago, Dupri organized a 20th Anniversary So So Def Reunion. Kris Kross was one of the highlights of the evening. So glad they were able to perform together, one last time.
Watch their last performance together at the So So Def Reunion: