June 11, 1978 – May 1, 2013
Chris Kelly is best remembered as one-half of the popular ’90s rap duo, Kris Kross. Formed in 1990 with Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith when they were just 13 years old, the pair went on to have a major hit in 1992 with “Jump.” That single, which appeared on their debut album, Totally Krossed Out, spent eight weeks at #1 on the Billboard singles chart and sold in excess of two million copies. The album from which it came sold upwards of four million copies in the US alone. Kris Kross’ two follow-up albums went platinum and gold in the US respectively. Kelly and Smith were also known for wearing their clothing backwards on stage. Born in Atlanta, Kelly and Smith were discovered by Jermaine Dupri who helped land them a deal with Columbia Records’ Ruffhouse imprint. In 1992, the duo hit the road with Michael Jackson, opening for his Dangerous World Tour. They also appeared in Jackson’s video for “Jam.” Throughout the ’90s, the guys made several cameos on various television shows and such. They also recorded “Rugrats Romp” for the popular Nickelodeon program, Rugrats. Kelly and Smith parted ways in 1998 but reunited for Dupri’s So So Def Recording’s 20th anniversary concert in 2013. On May 1, 2013, Chris Kelly, age 34, was found unresponsive in his Atlanta home and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Official medical reports concluded he died of a drug overdose.
What You Should Own