Throngs of fans are expected to join family and friends of hip-hop singer Nate Dogg for his funeral in Southern California.
The family of Nate Dogg _ whose real name is Nathaniel Dwayne Hale _ decided that the Saturday morning services at the Queen Mary Dome in Long Beach would not be open to the public as they had previously wanted, but they made 1,000 tickets and shuttles available to members of the public who claimed them first.
The dome, adjacent to the historic ship the Queen Mary, was the former home of Howard Hughes' airplane folly the Spruce Goose.
Organizers had sought a more central location in Long Beach for the funeral, but none proved large enough for the numbers of expected mourners. Shante Broadus, wife of Nate Dogg friend and collaborator Snoop Dogg, teamed with Long Beach City Councilman Dee Andrews to find the space. Andrews' office predicted "thousands of mourners" would attend.
A public viewing of Nate Dogg's body was held Friday night, and a dinner is planned after the funeral.
Nate Dogg died on March 15 of complications from multiple strokes, attorney Mark Geragos said. He was 41.
Despite appearing primarily on rap records he was not a rapper but a singer. 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.
Hale, who started out singing in church choirs, had met and formed a group with Snoop Dogg and Warren G while the trio was still in high school in Long Beach. He 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,"
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.
Late in life he was plagued by several legal and health problems, including at least two strokes in 2008.