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West Coast Rapper Nate Dogg Dead at 41

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Long Beach born Nate Dogg (nee Nathaniel Dwayne Hale) died yesterday in his hometown at the age of 41. A cause of death has not been released, however, as MTV points out, "the infamous hook singer had been recovering from two massive strokes he suffered over the past years."

Nate Dogg was a longtime friend and collaborator with prominent rappers such as Snoop Dogg, Warren G, RBX, and Daz Dillinger. In 1991, Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg, and Warren G formed a rap group called 213, and a demo recording they put together caught the attention of Dr. Dre. Dre put Nate Dogg on his album "The Chronic," and fans and critics applauded his vocal style, and he began a longtime affiliation with Death Row Records. He continued to record throughout the 90s with other rappers, as well as produce solo work.

The rapper faced some legal troubles in 2002, but continued to record and release material, as well as make appearances on television shows. In December 2007 he suffered a stroke that left his left side paralyzed, and then in September 2008 he suffered a second stroke. Last year, Nate Dogg's high profile friends told the press and the public about the status of his recovery. "By all accounts, the singer who lent his voice to so many of Hip Hop’s classics is aware and alert," noted HipHopDX. "And while even Dr. Dre expressed hopes of getting some vocals, it is unknown if Nate will be able to resume his singing career."

Nate Dogg died late Tuesday night. Snoop Dogg was among the many industry professionals and fans who took to Twitter to express sadness: "We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb. One of my best friends n a brother to me since 1986 when I was a sophomore at poly high where we met," adding, "I love u buddy luv. U will always b wit me 4ever n a day u put the g n g funk u put the 1 n 213 n u put yo stamp on evrybdy u ever didit wit."