May 2, 2013 10:42 AM by Elaine Sheridan

90s rap star dead at 34

Atlanta, GA (NBC News)-Chris Kelly, one-half of the rap duo Kris Kross - known for making America "Jump" in the 1990s - passed away on Wednesday, Georgia authorities announced. He was 34.

Kelly was discovered unresponsive in his Atlanta home and pronounced dead at Atlanta Medical Center shortly after 5:30 p.m. local time, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner.

The cause of death has not yet been determined. An autopsy is planned for Thursday.

Kelly went by the nickname "Mac Daddy" and Smith went by "Daddy Mac."

They were best known for the 1992 hit "Jump" on their debut album "Totally Krossed Out" and their penchant for wearing their clothes backwards. "Jump" rode the No.1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks, and that same year, the teens toured Europe as part of Michael Jackson's "Dangerous" world tour. Although they would go on to release two more albums, they would never again reach the heights of "Jump."

The duo also had a video game (ranked one of the 20 worst of all time by Electronic Gaming Monthly) and recorded a rap song for the cartoon "Rugrats." They appeared on the "Cosby Show" spinoff "A Different World" and in the 1993 hip-hop comedy film "Who's the Man?"

In February, Kris Kross performed together once more, performing at the 20th anniversary party for So So Def Recordings, Dupri's Atlanta record label. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that the two were "all grown up and wearing clothes the right way."

Kelly's mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, and record label So So Def released this statement:

"It is with deep sadness that we announce that our beloved Chris Kelly has passed away on May 1. 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."

The statement noted that there would be no further comments or interviews with the family or the label for the time being.(Photo: Ruffhouse Records)



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