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Chris Kelly (August 11, 1978 – May 1, 2013)

Atlanta-born Chris “Mack Daddy” Kelly was one half of the rap duo Kris Kross (the other half being Chris “Daddy Mack” Smith).

The Chrises were discovered in 1991 in an Atlanta mall while shopping for sneakers by super-producer Jermaine Dupri.

The boys were just 13 in 1992 when their debut album Totally Krossed Out was released. The album sold 4 million copies in the U.S. alone! their lead single Jump spent 8 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was the first (and only to date) rap song that has spent as long at number one. With the release of Jump, their fame exploded and the boys were everywhere. They were the opening act on Michael Jackson’s 1992 Dangerous World Tour (they cameoed in his 1991 music video for Jam); they appeared in RUN DMC’s Down With the King and TLC’s Hat 2 Da Back videos; they appeared on an episode of the comedy series A Different World and were the closing musical act of the comedy sketch show In Living Color — and this was only in 1992! They also starred in a video game.

In 1993, they appeared in the film Who’s The Man? They released their second album, Da Bomb, in the same year. In 1996, they released their final album, Young, Rich & Dangerous. After the album’s release, Kris Kross broke up and went on to solo projects. In February 2013, they reunited for So So Def’s 20th Anniversary concert.

Just three months later, Kelly was found unresponsive at his Atlanta home at only 34 years of age, apparently from an overdose.

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