Kris Kross rapper Chris Kelly’s funeral was held on Thursday in Atlanta. The 34-year-old Kelly was found dead on May 1 of a suspected drug overdose.
Kelly’s mother and uncle told authorities the Kriss Kross rapper had a history of drug abuse. A police report showed that the rapper experienced similar episodes in the past.
Kelly’s funeral was a star-studded event, including more than 300 friends, family, and fellow entertainers. Kelly’s Kris Kross hip-hop partner, Chris Smith, spoke at the funeral, saying:
“It’s been a struggle for me every day, but there was a peace that came over me this morning because I know he’s in heaven.”
Smith also called Kelly a true friend and struggled to hold back tears as he stood at the pulpit of Jackson Baptist Memorial Church. Kelly’s mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, stared at her son’s casket throughout the funeral.
Before the Kris Kross rapper’s funeral began, Smith walked into the church with fellow rapper and producer Jermaine Dupri, who discovered the teen duo in the 1990s. Smith also spoke during the memorial about the last time Kris Kross performed together at the 20th anniversary of Dupri’s label. He recalled:
“We had so many memories. He was a true friend. He wanted to see if I was all right. So I just want to say I love you, man, and I’ll miss you.”
Chris Kelly died on May 1 in Atlanta. He was taken to the hospital after he fell sick at his home after a night out. An autopsy showed no signs of foul play or trauma. Authorities have said they are waiting on the results of a toxicology test to determine the Kriss Kross rapper’s cause of death.
A public wake was held for Chris Kelly three days before the funeral. Attendees were greeted with an instrumental version of the hip-hop duo’s hit “Jump,” during the open-casket visitation. Kelly’s coffin was surrounded by photos of him and Smith.