Chris Kelly, one half of the 1990s rap duo Kris Kross, died of a drugs overdose, according to the Atlanta Medical Examiner’s Office.
Kelly died in an Atlanta hospital on May 1 at the age of 34, after being found unresponsive at his home.
Investigator Betty Honey said a toxicology screening showed he had a mixture of drugs in his system.
A police report said Kelly’s mother told investigators her son used cocaine and heroin the night before he died.
She also said he had a history of drug abuse.
Kris Kross was made up of Kelly, known as “Mac Daddy”, and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith. They are most widely remembered for their 1992 hit Jump.
The duo, who famously wore their trousers backwards and extra baggy, were just 13 when they were discovered in an Atlanta mall.
A joint statement released after his death by So So Def, the label who signed them and Kelly’s mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, called him “kind, generous and fun-loving”.
‘His legacy will live on’
“To millions of fans worldwide, he was the trend-setting, backward pants-wearing one-half of Kris Kross, who loved making music,” the statement said.
“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.”
Debut track Jump was Kris Kross’s first and most successful song, leading to instant fame for the teenage duo.
Written by Grammy-winning producer Jermaine Dupri, the single topped the charts in the US and reached number two in the UK in May 1992.
It remained at number one in the US for eight weeks, selling four million copies.
Kris Kross went on to release their multi-platinum debut album, Totally Krossed Out, and subsequently toured with Michael Jackson.
But though they had some success with hits such as Warm It Up and Tonite’s Tha Night, they were never able to match the huge success of their first song.
Kris Kross released two more albums in the 1990s before Kelly and Smith went their separate ways.
They performed together again in February to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the So So Def label.