Sources are reporting that 34-year old former teen rap star Chris ‘Mac Daddy’ Kelly was found dead in his home in Atlanta today (May 1st.)
Kelly and his former bandmate, Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith, took the world by storm in the early 1990s as the duo Kris Kross, who became international superstars with their debut single “Jump.” Known for wearing their clothes backwards, the two teenagers became a phenomenon, touring with Michael Jackson and appearing on hit television shows like “A Different World” and in feature films like Who’s the Man? The group’s commercial success was guided by then-teenaged musical prodigy Jermaine Dupri, who at 19 years old, had discovered Kelly and Smith at an Atlanta shopping mall and produced their multiplatinum debut album, Totally Krossed Out.
As Smith and Kelly aged, their commercial fortunes began to slide. Both 1993s Da Bomb and 1996s Young, Rich and Dangerous failed to match the blockbuster success of their debut and, as adults, the duo parted ways. In a sad twist, Kelly had to debunk rumors throughout the late 90s and early 2000s that he had died from cancer and rumors that he had lupus (Kelly suffered from alopecia since he was four years old.)
Kelly later started an independent label called Cinco Records and studied musical engineering and revealed an interview earlier this year that he was eager to try to learn recording techniques. “I just wanted to do something different. Get more on the technical side of things than just being an artist, and produce,” he told HipHopMediaTraining back in January. “I just wanted to be [the] all around best I could be as far as doing everything.”
Kelly and Smith reunited this past February at the So So Def 20th Anniversary concert, which celebrated Dupri’s musical legacy over the last two decades. It was the first time the duo had performed together in over 15 years.
Details are still surfacing as to how Kelly died, but according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner, he was discovered unresponsive at his home and was later pronounced dead at Atlanta Medical Center – South Fulton shortly after 8 p.m.