In Memoriam: Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly (1978–2013)

Remembering the life and career of Kris Kross member.

Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly (1978–2013) - The music world was stunned by the shocking death and sudden loss of Chris Kelly on May 1, 2013, at age 34. One half of the platinum-selling rap duo Kris Kross, Kelly helped to redefine what was possible for young rappers in hip hop. Here's a look back at his life and career.(Photo: Prince Williams/Getty Images)

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Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly (1978–2013) - The music world was stunned by the shocking death and sudden loss of Chris Kelly on May 1, 2013, at age 34. One half of the platinum-selling rap duo Kris Kross, Kelly helped to redefine what was possible for young rappers in hip hop. Here's a look back at his life and career.(Photo: Prince Williams/Getty Images)

Discovering Kris Kross - In 1991, along with band mate Chris Smith, Chris Kelly was discovered by hip hop producer wunderkind Jermaine Dupri in an Atlanta shopping mall. The pair signed a record deal with Ruffhouse Records.  (Photo: Michel Linssen/Redferns)

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Discovering Kris Kross - In 1991, along with band mate Chris Smith, Chris Kelly was discovered by hip hop producer wunderkind Jermaine Dupri in an Atlanta shopping mall. The pair signed a record deal with Ruffhouse Records. (Photo: Michel Linssen/Redferns)

Jumpin' Into Superstardom - The group's infectious, megahit first single, "Jump," topped the Billboard charts for eight weeks. It was the first rap single to achieve such success at the time. The video for "Jump," directed by Rich Murray, was also a bestseller — it was a No. 1 MTV hit video and sold over 100,000 VHS copies. (Photo: Columbia Records)

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Jumpin' Into Superstardom - The group's infectious, megahit first single, "Jump," topped the Billboard charts for eight weeks. It was the first rap single to achieve such success at the time. The video for "Jump," directed by Rich Murray, was also a bestseller — it was a No. 1 MTV hit video and sold over 100,000 VHS copies. (Photo: Columbia Records)

Kris Krossing the Nation - Kris Kross' debut album Totally Krossed Out was produced by Dupri. Released in 1992, the album went on to sell 4 million copies in the United States.   (Photo: Columbia Records)

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Kris Krossing the Nation - Kris Kross' debut album Totally Krossed Out was produced by Dupri. Released in 1992, the album went on to sell 4 million copies in the United States.  (Photo: Columbia Records)

Billboard's Best New Artists - After conquering the charts, the accolades soon followed. The video for Kris Kross' follow-up single "Warm It Up" earned the duo a Billboard video award for Best New Artist. The single also reached No. 14 on the singles chart.   (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

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Billboard's Best New Artists - After conquering the charts, the accolades soon followed. The video for Kris Kross' follow-up single "Warm It Up" earned the duo a Billboard video award for Best New Artist. The single also reached No. 14 on the singles chart. (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

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Jammin' With Michael Jackson - The Princes of Hip Hop soon caught the eye of the King of Pop. Kris Kross made a cameo appearance in the Michael Jackson video "Jam," which featured Michael Jordan and Heavy D. The duo also enjoyed a featured spot during Jackson's Dangerous World Tour in 1992.  (Photo: Epic Records)

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Jammin' With Michael Jackson - The Princes of Hip Hop soon caught the eye of the King of Pop. Kris Kross made a cameo appearance in the Michael Jackson video "Jam," which featured Michael Jordan and Heavy D. The duo also enjoyed a featured spot during Jackson's Dangerous World Tour in 1992. (Photo: Epic Records)

Video Game Stars - Having put the recording and live-stage worlds on lock, Kris Kross headed next into the gaming business. The 1992 Sega CD system video game Kris Kross: Make My Video allowed players to edit the group's music videos for their hit songs using stock footage and animation effects.  (Photo: Columbia Records)

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Video Game Stars - Having put the recording and live-stage worlds on lock, Kris Kross headed next into the gaming business. The 1992 Sega CD system video game Kris Kross: Make My Video allowed players to edit the group's music videos for their hit songs using stock footage and animation effects. (Photo: Columbia Records)

From Music to Movies - The young hip hop megastars earned their place among rap music's best in film. The duo put in a cameo in the Ed Lover and Dr. Dre big screen comedy vehicle, Who's the Man? Directed by Ted Demme, the movie also starred KRS-One, Ice-T and Salt from Salt-N-Pepa.  (Photo:New Line Cinema)

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From Music to Movies - The young hip hop megastars earned their place among rap music's best in film. The duo put in a cameo in the Ed Lover and Dr. Dre big screen comedy vehicle, Who's the Man? Directed by Ted Demme, the movie also starred KRS-One, Ice-T and Salt from Salt-N-Pepa. (Photo:New Line Cinema)

Rugrat Rapper Duo - Kris Kross got animated in 1994. The pair recorded "Rugrats Rap" for the popular kids Nickelodeon cartoon series Rugrats. The single was featured on the album The Best of Nicktoons.   (Photo: Courtesy of Nickelodeon)

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Rugrat Rapper Duo - Kris Kross got animated in 1994. The pair recorded "Rugrats Rap" for the popular kids Nickelodeon cartoon series Rugrats. The single was featured on the album The Best of Nicktoons. (Photo: Courtesy of Nickelodeon)

Dropping Platinum Hits - Kris Kross' sophomore album, 1993's Da Bomb, generated hit singles like "Alright," featuring Super Cat, and the title track featuring Da Brat. The release, which featured songs directed at their music rivals, was also certified platinum.(Photo: Columbia Records)

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Dropping Platinum Hits - Kris Kross' sophomore album, 1993's Da Bomb, generated hit singles like "Alright," featuring Super Cat, and the title track featuring Da Brat. The release, which featured songs directed at their music rivals, was also certified platinum.(Photo: Columbia Records)

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Krossing Into Adulthood - In 1996, Kris Kross released their third album, Young Rich & Dangerous. As the pair transitioned into young adulthood they didn't lose the penchant for making hit records. The certified gold album featured the singles, "Tonight's tha Night" and "Live and Die for Hip Hop."  (Photo: Columbia Records)

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Krossing Into Adulthood - In 1996, Kris Kross released their third album, Young Rich & Dangerous. As the pair transitioned into young adulthood they didn't lose the penchant for making hit records. The certified gold album featured the singles, "Tonight's tha Night" and "Live and Die for Hip Hop." (Photo: Columbia Records)

Solo Act Spotlight - Following the release of their third album, Chris Kelly and Chris Smith went on to solo careers. Kris Kross later reunited for So So Def's 20th Anniversary concert in February 2013. But tragically, just three month later, Kelly died on May 1 of a drug overdose.  (Photo: Paras Griffin /Landov)

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Solo Act Spotlight - Following the release of their third album, Chris Kelly and Chris Smith went on to solo careers. Kris Kross later reunited for So So Def's 20th Anniversary concert in February 2013. But tragically, just three month later, Kelly died on May 1 of a drug overdose. (Photo: Paras Griffin /Landov)