The death of Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, aka Nate Dogg, shocked those who work in hip-hop, and those who love good music in general. Hale died March 15 due to complications following strokes in 2007 and 2008. He was 41.

The Long Beach, Calif.-born singer began his career singing on Dr. Dre's debut album, "The Chronic," lending his vocals to the track "Lil' Ghetto Boy." Hale's soulful baritone and knack for melodies were often imitated but never duplicated.

Hale's discography on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart covers 34 titles, beginning with debut hit "Regulate" with Warren G, which peaked at No. 7 in the July 2, 1994, issue. Hale's sole chart-topper came courtesy of his featured turn on 50 Cent's "21 Questions," which spent seven weeks at No. 1 in 2003.

Hale's singing style, and his ability to make even the most profane and off-color lyrics sound catchy, live on through his influence on such stars as T-Pain and Akon.