Nathaniel “Nate Dogg” Hale, the former Death Row singer who helped to popularize the G-Funk sound and the baritone behind some of hip-hop’s famous hooks, has died. He was 41.
The announcement came late last night from the Long Beach newspaper the Press Telegram, which attributed the news to Hale’s family. The cause of death is unknown at this time, though Hale had had some health problems, suffering two strokes in the last few years.
Hale rose to prominence alongside his fellow West Coast rappers Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Dr. Dre in the early 1990s. Hale, a Grammy-nominated artist, was renowned for lending his deep and charismatic voice to the Warren G. smash “Regulate,” Dre’s album The Chronic, Dre and Snoop’s “The Next Episode,” Ludacris’ “Area Codes” and many other classics.
Hale’s peers have taken to Twitter to show their support for the Long Beach native, including Snoop Dogg, a longtime friend: “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.”
Ludacris also payed his respects to Hale, his sentiments mirroring those of the music community: “There is a certain void in hip hop’s heart that can never be filled.”