Chris Kelly, Kris Kross Singer, Dies At 34
Chris Kelly, one half of 90s rap duo Kris Kross, was discovered unresponsive at his home on Wednesday and was later pronounced dead at an Atlanta hospital. He was 34.
Kelly's cause of death is not yet known, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office, reported CNN. An autopsy is planned for Thursday.
Kelly and Chris Smith, the other half of Kris Kross, were discovered by Jermaine Dupri in 1991. In 1992, they released their hit single "Jump" and shot to superstardom. The song remained on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a total of eight weeks. That same year, Kris Kross had the honor of opening for Michael Jackson on his Dangerous World Tour.
Although "Jump" was indisputably a major hit, it was the duo's fashion sense that really got people talking. Their tendency to pull up their pants backwards was a style move that was widely emulated. "I'm wearing my clothes to work backwards tomorrow," Global Grind editor in chief Michael Skolnik said after hearing of Kelly's passing.
Kriss Kross's debut album, Totally Krossed Out, which included "Jump" and "Warm It Up," went multiplatinum. Their 1993 album, Da Bomb, failed to match the success of their first, due in part to a adopting a more mature image after hitting puberty. They released their last album, Young, Rich and Dangerous in 1996, that again failed to reach the heights of their debut. However, both members continued to make music, and they reunited just this past February for the 20th anniversary of So So Def label.
"To millions of fans worldwide, he was the trendsetting, backwards pants-wearing one-half of Kris Kross who loved making music," said Kelly's family in a statement. "But to us, he was just Chris — the kind, generous and fun-loving life of the party."