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Posted Wed, March 16, 2011 9:30am EDT

Hip-Hop Star Nate Dogg Dead At Just 41. What A Loss!

The rap world is reeling after the death of the artist who rose to fame by working with Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre.

Nate Dogg, the hip-hop artist who performed on groundbreaking records like Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle, is dead, family members told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. He was only 41 years old.

Born Nathaniel D. Hale in Long Beach, Calif, Nate began singing in his trademark soulful style as child in a local Baptist church. He started his rap career with Snoop and Warren G in the 213 group. Nate went on to make his mark as one of the most sought-after collaborators in hip-hip.

After grappling with drug use, his health had declined in recent years, knocking him off the stage. In 2007, he had his first stroke, and was felled less than a year later by a second one. He struggled with partial paralysis and it was never clear if he would ever be able to resume his career.

Still, his death has stunned the hip-hop world.

Tributes have started to pour out on Twitter, from friends like Snoop, who tweeted “RIP NATE DOGG,” and Ludacris, who posted this message: “There is a certain void in hip hop’s heart that can never be filled. Glad we got to make history together.”

There was no immediate word on the cause of death.