Rapper Nate Dogg Dies

The singer, famous for his connections to the "G Funk Era," died Tuesday.

By Jeff Johnson, Jack Noyes and Michael Preston
|  Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011  |  Updated 11:20 AM EDT
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One of the most recognizable voices of the early 90s West Coast hip-hop scene is dead.

Nathaniel D. Hale - better known to the masses as the singer Nate Dogg -- died Tuesday, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

In an interview with the paper, the rapper's family said he passed away early in the day on March 15. He was 41.

Early Wednesday morning, Nate Dogg's brother Samuel called Los Angeles-based  radio station KDAY and thanked fans for their good wishes. He declined to  comment on his brother's death, but said Nate Dogg had struggled with illness  for the past three years and that the family would be releasing a statement.

"We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb. One of my best friends n a  brother to me...  I miss u cuzz. I am so sad but so happy I got to grow up wit  u and I will c u again n heaven...," Snoop Dogg posted on Twitter.

Nate Dogg became famous for his work with rappers Warren G, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre as part of the so-called "G Funk era," a sub-genre of hip-hop that relied heavily on sampling classic 70s funk and soul music. His deep voice was famously employed on Dre's best-selling 1991 album, "The Chronic," and was also featured on Warren G's classic, "Regulators." In total, he contributed to 40 charted singles.

No cause of death was given, however Hale suffered a stroke in 2007 and another the following year, the Press-Telegram reported.

Selected Reading: Long Beach Press-Telegram, TMZ, The Source

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