Best known from his rap group Kris Kross, popular in the1990s, the musician was found unresponsive at his home in Atlanta.
He was immediately taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Initial reports are saying the Kelly likely died of a drug overdose.
Kelly's record label released a statement saying:
"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."
Kelly's mother also released a statement saying:
"His legacy will live on through his music."