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Dr Dre Turned Down Working With Michael Jackson, Prince & Stevie Wonder

15 July 2023 | 11:55 am | Mary Varvaris

“What the f*ck am I gonna do with them? Those are my f*ckin’ heroes, man.”

Dr Dre, Michael Jackson & Prince

Dr Dre, Michael Jackson & Prince (Source: Supplied)

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Dr Dre is a legendary producer and musician who can bring the best out of any artist.

That’s what we all think, but when the opportunities arose to work with some of the biggest artists in the world – Michael Jackson, Prince and Stevie Wonder – Dre unceremoniously turned all three of them down, feeling like he had nothing to offer to artists of their respective calibres.

Joining Kevin Hart on his Hart To Heart series on the US streaming service, Peacock, Dre said Prince and Michael Jackson approached him to collaborate.

He rejected them, telling Hart, “They just asked me to work with them, and I just [said], ‘What the fuck am I gonna do with them?’ Those are my fuckin’ heroes, man. Yeah, that happened.” Hip Hop DX reports that Dre initially declined Jackson’s invite in 2001.

Later in the interview, Dre revealed that Stevie Wonder recently asked to work together, and the Grammy Award-winning musician said no to working with the Superstitious legend, too.

Dre was in the studio with English singer-songwriter Marsha Ambrosius when she had to clear a Stevie Wonder sample. The pair were in touch with Wonder, who asked them to change the lyrics to the track they were working on.

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Then, “He called me back like, ‘Okay, Dre. Now I like the lyrics. Why don’t we work together and just write a song together?’ [I said], ‘Yeah. Alright. Alright, Stevie,’ and yeah, I didn’t show up.”

Dre went on to admit, “What the fuck am I gonna do in the studio with Stevie Wonder? Huh? Touch the drums? No. Touch the keyboard? No. What the fuck? Nah. I went that way.” You can watch the entire interview below.

In other recent Dr Dre news, the musician’s debut album, The Chronic, which features the hit singles Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang and Let Me Ride, recently returned to streaming services after a year away, just in time for its 30th anniversary.

In April 2020, the record was distributed to all streaming services after being an Apple Music exclusive since 2015. In March 2022, The Chronic and other albums released on Death Row Records, of which Dr Dre was a co-founder before departing, were removed from streaming services. 

In January, Universal Music Group and Shamrock Holdings confirmed a deal with Dr Dre to transfer the masters (from Death Row) to Dr Dre. The album has returned to Dre and his original distributor, Interscope Records.