Fox‘s American Idol may be going back to its roots, betting on a hot music producer who is virtually unknown to the public as a judge — just as it did with Simon Cowell in 2002. The network is in negotiations with Dr. Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald) to join the judging panel of the singing competition for its upcoming 13th season. Earlier this month, Fox chairman Kevin Reilly confirmed that the network had had discussions with all rumored judge candidates, a list that included Dr. Luke and will.i.am. The latter’s name started picking up steam in the past couple of weeks, though I hear talks between him and Fox never got serious. Meanwhile, hope is that Dr. Luke, who was tipped for the job by US Magazine earlier today, will close a deal to join returning judges Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez, whose signing has yet to be officially announced.

As a producer-songwriter, Dr. Luke has more than 20 songs that have debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100. His biggest hits include Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone”, Flo Rida’s “Right Round”, Kei$ha’s “Tik Tok”, Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”, “I Kissed A Girl”, “Teenage Dream”, “Hot n Cold” and Part Of Me”, Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite”, Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” and Britney Spears’ “Circus”. Dr. Luke may actually be a familiar face to TV buffs as he started off as lead guitarist on Saturday Night Live‘s house band. As for will.i.am, he may return to his gig as a mentor on UK’s The Voice as sources say the show’s producers continue discussions with him and Tom Jones, who were on the show the first two seasons and look hopeful to continue. The Voice UK is seeking replacements for Jessie J and Danny O’Donoghue who exited after Season 2.

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