Dre Passes On Michael Jackson Project

Hip-hop impresario says he turned down opportunity to produce Michael Jackson's first album in a decade.

Dr. Dre's achievements producing his own album and hits from Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Xzibit may have crowned him the King of Rap in 2000, but the hip-hop impresario has no interest in working with fellow musical royalty Michael Jackson.

Dre told MTV Radio at the American Music Awards on Monday that he turned down an opportunity to produce the King of Pop's first album in a decade.

"Somebody approached me about working with Michael Jackson, and I did say no because I like working with new artists or people that I've worked with in the past," Dre said. "I can develop them from the ground up. There's no set standard that I have to live up to or anything like that. All I have to do is go in the studio, and basically they're going to bust their ass to come in there and do their thing the way it's supposed to be done."

Jackson's spokesperson confirmed there have been discussions between the two artists, but said nothing has been decided.

Dre said he recently wrapped production on Eve's forthcoming album, Scorpion, and is now working with R&B newcomer Shari Watson, a.k.a. Truth Hurts, who is signed to his Aftermath label. Fellow Los Angeles rapper Ice-T also recently told L.A.'s Daily News that Dre will work on his next record.

Dre leads the pack of contenders for the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards with five nominations, including Best Hip-Hop Album for Dr. Dre 2001 (see "Dr. Dre, Beyoncé Lead Grammy Nominees").

Jackson has worked with several producers on his upcoming album, including R&B hitmaker Rodney Jerkins, R. Kelly and former Jodeci member DeVante, his spokesperson said. The as-yet-untitled album is scheduled for summer release (see "Michael Jackson Nearing Completion Of New LP").