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PASSINGS: Chris Kelly, Leopold Engleitner

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Chris Kelly, 34, half of the 1990s kid rap duo Kris Kross that had a chart-topping hit with "Jump," was pronounced dead Wednesday at an Atlanta hospital of an apparent drug overdose, authorities said.

Police were called to Kelly's home in south Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon and he was transported to Atlanta Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. No official cause of death has been determined, pending an autopsy.

Kris Kross was introduced to the music world in 1992 by music producer and rapper Jermaine Dupri after he discovered the youths at an Atlanta mall.

Kelly, called "Mac Daddy," was born Aug. 11, 1978, in Atlanta. He and his partner Chris Smith, dubbed "Daddy Mac," were known for wearing their clothes backward as they rhymed.

The duo's first, and by far most successful, song was "Jump." The hit, off their multiplatinum 1992 debut album "Totally Krossed Out," featured the two trading verses and rapping the refrain, the song's title. The duo had surprising maturity in their rap delivery, though the song was written by Dupri. It would become a No. 1 smash in the United States and globally, and one of the most popular of that year.

Their success led to instant fame: They toured with Michael Jackson, appeared on TV shows, and even had their own video game.

The group was never able to match the tremendous success of their first song, though they had other hits, such as "Warm It Up," and "Tonite's tha Night."

In 2009, after photos surfaced that showed Kelly with bald spots on his head, there were rumors that he had cancer. But in an interview posted on YouTube by Straight from the A TV, he said he suffered from alopecia, a condition in which people lose their hair.

Leopold Engleitner

One of the oldest known Nazi concentration camp survivors

Leopold Engleitner, 107, one of the oldest known survivors of the Nazi concentration camps, died April 21 in his native Austria, according to an announcement Thursday by the Mauthausen Committee, an organization that tracks the fate of former inmates.

Engleitner was born in the province of Salzburg in 1905 and worked as a farmhand before the Nazis came to power.

A Jehovah's Witness and conscientious objector, Engleitner spent four years in the German concentration camps of Buchenwald, Niederhagen and Ravensbruck after refusing to renounce his beliefs.

He was released from Ravensbruck in 1943 after agreeing to work as a farm slave laborer, despite weighing only about 60 pounds.

Later ordered to report to Hitler's army, Engleitner hid in the Tyrolean countryside until after the war ended.

His life was documented in the 1999 book and film "Unbroken Will," by Austrian filmmaker and author Bernhard Rammerstorfer, and he toured Europe and America to share his experiences.

He visited Los Angeles last fall for the release of a new Rammerstorfer documentary, "Ladder in the Lions' Den."

The oldest known survivor of the camps is Alice Herz-Sommer, 109, who lives in London. She was confined in the camp in Terezin, or Theresienstadt in German.

-- Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports

news.obits@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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