LONG BEACH, Calif. – Rappers Snoop Dogg, Warren G and The Game joined family, friends and about 1,000 fans of Nate Dogg to remember the hip-hop singer, who died this month of complications from multiple strokes.
The family of Nate Dogg – whose real name was Nathaniel Dwayne Hale – decided that the ceremony at the Queen Mary Dome would not be open to the public as they previously wanted, but they made 1,000 tickets and shuttles available to fans.
The dome in Hale’s hometown of Long Beach is adjacent to the historic ship the Queen Mary and was the former home of Howard Hughes’ airplane folly, the Spruce Goose.
Organizers had sought a more central location for the funeral, but none proved large enough for the numbers of expected mourners. A private dinner was planned after the service.
Hale started out singing in church choirs, then formed a group with Snoop Dogg and Warren G while the trio was in high school in Long Beach.
His almost monotone vocal stylings anchored some of rap’s most seminal songs and helped define the sound of West Coast hip-hop on tracks usually produced by Dr. Dre and performed by rappers like Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound and Warren G. He remained sought after as a singer more than a decade after his original success, supplying vocals to more recent tracks by 50 Cent and Ludacris.
Hale dropped out of high school, was dishonorably discharged from the Marines and dabbled in the drug trade before finding success as Nate Dogg on Dr. Dre’s classic 1992 album “The Chronic.”
Late in life, he was plagued by legal and health problems, including at least two strokes in 2008.