Kelly, 34, one half of the Atlanta-based duo known for their smash 1992 hit "Jump," was found unresponsive at his ATL home and died at an area hospital a short time later.
A spokeswoman for the Fulton County police department told the Associated Press that based on statements at the scene and evidence turned up in Kelly's home, "it appears it may have been a possible drug overdose."
In a police report on the incident obtained by MTV News, officers describe arriving at Kelly's home at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday in response to a report of a death. Paramedics found Kelly, also known by his rap name Mac Daddy, lying unresponsive on the living room couch with "no life signs." After moving him to the floor to administer CPR, they transported him to Atlanta Medical Center South, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
According to the report, Kelly's mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, spoke to the investigating officer and said that Chris had taken a mixture of heroin and cocaine the night before. In the report, Pratte is identified as "a close friend" of the deceased and said she had brought Kelly home to "recover from his drug use and [that he] had done this several times in the past."
It was unclear at press time why Pratte (whose name is spelled "Pratt" in the police report) described herself to investigators as "a friend" and not Kelly's mother; MTV News was awaiting clarification from a police spokesperson.
Pratte explained that Kelly had felt nauseous all morning and that he passed out around 3 p.m. and was unresponsive, prompting her to call 911. Pratte and Lamar Williams, the rapper's uncle, told police that Kelly had an extensive history of drug use. Police did not find anything unusual about Kelly's body or the inside of his residence.
Pratte issued a statement on her son's death, writing, "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."
Kelly and his partner Chris Smith hit the rap scene hard in 1992 with their debut single "Jump." The track sampled the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" and was most remembered for its rambunctious music video where the then-teenagers set a fashion trend by wearing their clothes backwards. The single would eventually propel the duo's debut LP Totally Krossed Out to multiplatinum status. They released two more albums, 1993's Da Bomb and 1996's Young, Rich & Dangerous before going their separate ways and pursuing solo careers.
Check in with MTV News as more details emerge.
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