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Kris Kross' Chris Kelly died from overdose, autopsy says

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 4:58 PM EDT, Wed July 3, 2013
Chris Smith, left, and Chris Kelly of the rap duo Kris Kross circa 1992. Kelly died at an Atlanta hospital May 1, from a drug overdose that included heroin and cocaine, his autopsy report said. He was 34. Chris Smith, left, and Chris Kelly of the rap duo Kris Kross circa 1992. Kelly died at an Atlanta hospital May 1, from a drug overdose that included heroin and cocaine, his autopsy report said. He was 34.
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Chris Kelly dead at 34
Chris Kelly dead at 34
Chris Kelly dead at 34
Chris Kelly dead at 34
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The autopsy found heroin, cocaine, ethanol, hydrocodone and alprazolam in Kelly's blood
  • Kelly, together with Chris Smith, shot to stardom in 1992 with "Jump"
  • Their penchant for wearing their clothes backward was widely emulated.
  • The pair reunited for one night in February for a 20th anniversary party

(CNN) -- Chris Kelly, half of the 1990s rap duo Kris Kross, died of a drug overdose that included heroin and cocaine, his autopsy report said Wednesday.

Kelly, 34, died at an Atlanta hospital after he was found unresponsive at his home on May 1, police said.

The Fulton County medical examiner concluded that Kelly's death was an accident caused by the combined toxic effects of heroin, cocaine, ethanol and hydrocodone, and alprazolam, said the medical examiner's spokeswoman, Karleshia Bentley.

After paramedics took him to the hospital, a woman who identified herself as Kelly's friend told an investigator that Kelly had taken a mixture of heroin and cocaine the night before, and that she had brought Kelly home "to recover from his drug use," according to a police report.

Kris Kross rapper Chris Kelly dies
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Kelly, together with Chris Smith, shot to stardom in 1992 with "Jump," which spent eight weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

The duo opened for Michael Jackson that year on his Dangerous World Tour.

Their penchant for wearing their clothes backward was, at least for a time, widely emulated.

Discovered at a mall

Kelly and Smith were 13-year-olds when they were discovered in 1991 at an Atlanta mall by producer Jermaine Dupri.

Going by the stage name Mac Daddy (with Smith known as Daddy Mac), the pair followed up their smash "Jump" with the single "Warm It Up."

Together, the songs pushed their debut album, "Totally Krossed Out," to multiplatinum status. Next came 1993's "Da Bomb."

But the album failed to find the following of the duo's debut, in large part because the boys had hit puberty and they were marketed with a tougher image.

Their career never again reached the heights of their debut, but they continued to make music.

In 1996, the duo released the album "Young, Rich and Dangerous."

The pair reunited for one night in February for a 20th anniversary party for Dupri's So So Def label.

People we lost in 2013: The lives they lived

CNN's Marlena Baldacci, Douglas Hyde and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

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