Rapper Chris Kelly May Have Died From the Same Lethal Combo That Killed River Phoenix

Chris KellyIt's not very often that a young celebrity's sudden death is found to be from natural causes, and unfortunately, it seems rapper Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly's untimely passing is no exception. When the news hit yesterday that the 34-year-old -- best known as half of the '90's group Kris Kross -- had been found unresponsive in his Atlanta home, no cause of death was declared. Today, however, authorities in Atlanta say they are investigating the case as a possible drug overdose.

Paramedics initially responded to Kelly's Atlanta home around 3 p.m. on Wednesday after his mother called 911. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead a few hours later. According to a police report obtained by TMZ, Kelly's medical emergency can be traced back to a dangerous mix of drugs he took the night before.


Assuming the police report is accurate, Chris Kelly's mom, Donna Kelly Pratt, told the cops that her son had an "extensive history of drug use," and said that the night before he died, he'd taken a mixture of heroin and cocaine known as a "speedball." Donna said she had taken Kelly home to recover, much as she'd done several times in the past, and that Kelly had complained of nausea all morning before he passed out.

Just hours before Kelly slipped into unconsciousness, he did a phone interview with The Streetz Morning Grind radio show in Atlanta. He actually referenced his partying behavior in the interview, causing the DJ -- a friend of his -- to chide him. Here's the clip:

There's no definitive report yet as to Kelly's cause of death, since the autopsy was planned for this morning and results likely won't be back for a while. But it's sounding like a sadly familiar story of a life cut down too soon by drugs. If it turns out he did in fact die from a speedball overdose, he'll join a tragic club of those who succumbed to the often-fatal effects of mixing a stimulant and a depressant. Others who were killed by the same drug cocktail include John Belushi, Chris Farley, and River Phoenix.

Kelly's mother, along with Kris Kross's former record label, has released a joint statement mourning their loss:

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.

Are you at all surprised to hear that Chris Kelly's death may have been drug-related?

Image via MTV

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