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Heaven just got another Dogg.
Sadly, after years of battling deteriorating health, rapper and LBC native Nate Dogg (whose real name was Nathaniel Hale) passed away at the age of 41.
No exact cause of death was immediately released when the family announced his death to the Long Beach Press Telegram, though the rapper suffered two massive strokes in recent years, one in 2007 which left him partially paralyzed, and another in 2008.
Nate Dogg was a four-time Grammy nominee and a major participant in the West Coast G-Funk sound, contributing memorable and chart-topping hooks to hits spanning the past two decades, starting with his heavy featuring on Dr. Dre's The Chronic. He went on to add his smooth, laid-back sound to Warren G's "Regulate," Dre and Snoop Dogg's "The Next Episode," Ludacris' "Area Codes" and Eminem's "Shake That." His most recent solo album, Nate Dogg, was released in 2008.
Frequent collaborator and longtime friend Snoop (back in 1991, then unknown pals Snoop, Nate and Warren G formed a rap group called 213) was the first to publicly mourn the loss.
"We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb," he tweeted last night. "One of my best friends n a brother to me since 1986 when I was a sophomore at poly high where we met.
"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. I miss u cuzz I am so sad but so happy I got to grow up with u and I will c u again n heaven cuz u know d slogan…all doggs go to heaven yo homie n baby brotha bigg snoopdogg!!
"RIP NATE DOGG."
As for Warren G, he has yet to publicly comment on the passing, but sadly just Sunday addressed fan concerns about Nate's health.
"For those that don't know awhile back nate had 2 strokes he is in therapy thanks again for your support."
Meanwhile, other fans and friends of Nate have weighed in on Twitter, offering up their own condolences.
• Daz Dillinger: "R.I.P. TO MY HOMEBOY NATE DOGG DPGC DOGG POUND GANGSTA 4 LIFE."
• Xzibit: "We love you Nate Dogg, it's never going to be the same."
• Reggie Bush: "R.I.B. Nate Dogg!!!! Rest In Beats!"
• Ludacris: "There is a certain void in hip hop's heart that can never be filled. Glad we got to make history together. RT @SnoopDogg: RIP NATE DOGG."
• The Game: "I lost a friend. Been here before. Tears. Memories. One day someone will lose 'US' as well. LIVING until that day comes is our only option."