On Saturday, February 29, more than 100 family and friends gathered for the unveiling of a new gravestone for rapper, singer, songwriter and actor Nate Dogg at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Long Beach.
The Long Beach native’s family got their first glimpse of the gravestone on Friday and found it beautiful.
“It’s a work of art, to say the least,” said Pamela Hale, Nate Dogg’s sister. “The design captures every part of who my brother was, his music, his city, his style – even his military service.”
Nate Dogg was born Nathaniel Dwayne Hale on August 19, 1969 in Long Beach. His family moved to Mississippi and then back to Long Beach at the age of 14, where he sang alongside his family at New Hope Baptist Church.
After serving three years as a Marine overseas, he returned home and formed the Long Beach-based rap trio, 213, along with his cousin Snoop Dogg and longtime friend Warren G. The three friends found success in the music industry; Nate Dogg has been nominated four times for a Grammy.
Nate Dogg’s career was cut short in 2007 when he suffered a stroke. While recovering less than a year later, he suffered a second stroke and eventually died of complications in 2011.
The rapper remains loved and admired by many members of the community and the music industry. Last month, Nate Dogg’s posthumous voice was used on an Anderson Park album that won Best R&B Grammy.
On Saturday, Pamela Hale recalled the great talent of her little brother, whom she called Buddy.
“A lot of what my brother was is in his music and being able to turn on a radio and still hear his voice is a blessing,” she said. “Hers are missed by so many people and the music world has lost a gift. But his legacy will continue in his music. It is an honor to call my little brother a great talent.
The new marker was created by Tim Morris, known on social media as Cemetery Tim.
Morris began creating unique markers six years ago in his home state of Washington. He is passionate about helping families commemorate their loved ones. He designed tombstones for NWA’s Easy E and TLC’s Lisa Left Eye Lopes.
To learn more about Morris’ work, visit cimetièretim.com.