Rapper Nate Dogg Dead at 41
Gangsta rap legend started out with Snoop Dogg, Warren G
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2011 4:51 AM CDT
Nate Dogg attends the 3rd Annual Black Entertainement Telelvision Awards.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – West Coast gangsta rap star Nate Dogg has died at the age of 41, reports his hometown newspaper, the Long Beach Press-Telegram. The cause of death is not yet known, but the rapper—real name Nathaniel D. Hale—had battled health problems in recent years and suffered strokes in 2007 and 2008. The ex-Marine started out as part of rap trio 213, joining Snoop Dogg—no relation—and Warren G. He released three solo albums but was best known for his collaborations with other rappers, including Dr. Dre and Tupac Shakur.

"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." Click for more on Nate Dogg, including videos.