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'Idol' Contestant -- The Nate Dogg Connection

3/16/2011 3:59 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Years before Jacob Lusk became a finalist on "American Idol" ... he formed a very special relationship with the one and only Nate Dogg -- a bond, TMZ has learned, that formed in an L.A. gospel choir.

031511_jacob_nate_video

Sources tell TMZ, Jacob auditioned for the gospel group called "InNate Praise" in 2007 -- formed by Nate himself -- and he ended up landing the part ... and we're told, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

According to sources, Jacob and Nate's relationship blossomed over the next two years ... as Jacob performed with the group at churches around L.A. County.

In the video -- shot back in 2007 -- Nate and Jacob are both hanging out in Nate's studio in North Hollywood. Earlier today, Jacob tweeted the following about Nate's death:

0316_jacob_lusk_twitter

As we previously reported, Nate passed away yesterday -- and his family believes his death was caused by complications stemming from two strokes he suffered over the last few years.



36 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

tizerri    

RIP Nate Dogg!

1316 days ago
2.

Leela    

Can't wait for that guy to be voted off, loud, irritating and obnoxious. He claims to be a Christian yet calls R Kelly his idol. Do these people even care when someone is accused of very serious crimes? Granted Kelly was not convicted but didn't they find child porn in his possession? No exactly what I would call a good role model.

1316 days ago
3.

artie help    

wow#3 you're looking for attention. And 3,2,1 you're going to get it.

1316 days ago
4.

Red-in-Phoenix    

NATE DOGG'S VOICE WAS SO SMOOTH AND VELVETY AND HE GAVE BACK TO HIS COMMUNITY. THIS IS A SAD DAY! RIP NATE DOGG.

1316 days ago
5.

by    

Take this down! This is the most useless video that's ever been posted here.

1316 days ago
6.

JungleTails com    

Finally some uplifting news this week!

1316 days ago
7.

Captain Balls    

I guess Warren G will be forced to Regulate on his own from now on.
RIP.

1316 days ago
8.

by    

letsee, guns, drugs, rap, arrests, gangs...yep, sounds like a real sweetheart

1316 days ago
9.

OooooNooo!    

What has this got to do with Charlie Sheen?

1316 days ago
10.

steffi    

Anonymous comments about every facebook user.

http://www.abouteveryone.com/

1316 days ago
11.

drdavec    

omg tmz lives on now I VOTE 4 HARV

1316 days ago
12.

MIDNIGHT TOKER    

this is all michael jackson fault

1316 days ago
13.

Raejean    

Who???

1316 days ago
14.

Regulator    

The only interesting thing in this article is the Salmon Burritos with Chile-Roasted Vegetables recipe.

Oh yeah, those two guys were both black, so that's another connection.

1316 days ago
15.

Sam    

Here he go!! I am going to miss that too. I love when people do not know how to speak. It just makes you sound so intelligent! Your IQ must be around 150. You should proud of yourself. Here he go!!!!

1316 days ago
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