According to reports, Nate Dogg, real name Nathaniel D. Hale, passed away Tuesday (March 15) at the age of 41. The Long Beach Press Telegram, his local paper, broke the news of the seminal gangster rap crooner's untimely demise with confirmation from family members. A cause of death was not immediately given.

Hale was quickly mourned by many, including longtime collaborator Snoop Dogg. "We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb," he tweeted. "One of my best friends n a brother to me since 1986 when I was a sophomore at poly high where we met [sic]."

Nate rose to prominence as a smooth-voiced hook singer with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Warren G during the explosion of West Coast hip-hop and gangster rap in the early 1990s. A staple of Death Row Records, Nate debuted on Dre's classic 'The Chronic' and scored a timeless smash collaborating with Warren G on the ever-popular 'Regulate.' That record alone basically saved an ailing Def Jam Records upon its release in 1994.

Nate suffered subsequent strokes in December 2007 and September 2008, and there have been stories that his health has been decline since that time. Late last year, Warren G revealed that Hale needed physical therapy and implied that a recovery could still happen.

Watch Nate Dogg in 'Regulate'

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