Chris Kelly’s death at age 34 came as a shock to fans who remembered him as a trendsetting member of 90s hip-hop group Kris Kross, and now friends are speaking out about the star's untimely passing.
An autopsy for Chris, who was found unresponsive in his Atlanta home on Monday, is planned for today, but early reports indicate that authorities believe drugs may have played a role in his death.
Fulton County police Cpl. Kay Lester confirmed to the Atlanta Journal Constitution that the death is being investigated as a possible overdose.
Kelly’s mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, issued a statement in conjunction with So So Def, the record label behind Kris Kross, grieving the loss of the the talented young star.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce that our beloved Chris Kelly has passed away on May 1,” the statement reads. "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."
Fellow musician and friend Billy Johnson added that Kelly had been doing well in recent months. "He said he had several hundred songs that he had recorded and he had mentioned that during his time away from releasing music that he had actually gone back to school to learn how to be a studio engineer."