The hip-hop artist known as Nate Dogg died Tuesday at the age of 41 after battling health issues for several years.
The performer, whose given name was Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, appeared on rapper-producer Dr. Dre's best-selling hip-hop album "The Chronic."
No cause of death has been released, but the star had survived strokes in 2007 and 2008.
Born in Long Beach, Calif., Hale began singing as a child in local churches. His song "Regulate" with Warren G in 1994 helped propel him to mainstream success.
Hale was part of what was sometimes called the "G-Funk" sound -- soulful hip-hop music that evoked the tunes of the 1970s. He sang hooks on records by Eminem, 50 Cent, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and others.
In rap, lyrics are king but the hook is often what pulls in listeners. Hale, who boasted a soulful commanding voice, had a talent for making songs seem fresh and old-school at the same time. He often sang the most memorable and melodic parts of a song, and in a genre full of disposable hits, made the tunes on which he was featured seem worthy of nostalgia.
Some of the stars with whom Hale worked have tweeted their condolences.
"I wrote the chorus to 21 questions I needed nate to sing it for me. He had a way of making everything feel hard," 50 Cent wrote on Twitter.
"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," Snoop Dogg tweeted. He later added "all doggs go to heaven yo homie n baby brotha bigg snoopdogg!!"