Hip-hop star Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, known by his stage name Nate Dogg, has died aged 41. The cause of his death is unclear but the Californian rapper had been recovering from two strokes he suffered in recent years.
Hale began singing as a child in baptist churches under the care of his father, who was a pastor. At the age of 16 he dropped out of high school in Long Beach, California, and joined the US marine corps, where he served for three years. In 1991, he formed a rap trio with Snoop Dogg and Warren G, and first found fame as a guest on Dr Dre's classic album The Chronic. With Warren G, he had a huge hit with Regulate, which reached No 5 in the UK charts in 1994. In total, he featured on four UK hits and also collaborated with Eminem, Ludacris, Tupac Shakur and Mark Ronson.
"We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb" Snoop Dogg tweeted. "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 wit u and I will c u again n heaven cuz u know d slogan." Snoop continued. "all doggs go to heaven yo homie n baby brotha bigg snoopdogg!!"
Singer Erykah Badu also tweeted: "Nate Dogg ... freshness period. rest in beats".
Comedian Dave Chappelle similarly wrote: "Moment of silence for a hip-hop legend; RIP Nate Dogg. You will be missed, G Funk Era forever. #natedogg."
Nate was left paralysed on one side of his body following a massive stroke in December 2007 and was struck by a second stroke in September 2008.
Nate released three solo albums, 1998's G-Funk Classics, Vol 1 & 2, 2001's Music And Me, and a self-titled LP in 2004. He was Grammy-nominated four times, most recently in 2007 for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for his contributions to the Eminem track, Shake That.