Sean Paul Denies He and Beyoncé Had Relationship in Early 2000s: 'I Wish!'

The dancehall icon said the romance rumors affected their working relationship

Beyonce and Sean Paul
Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty, Frazer Harrison/Getty

Sean Paul is looking back at working with Beyoncé.

In a Monday interview with The Daily Beast, the 49-year-old singer reflected on working with the 28-time Grammy Award winner for her 2003 song "Baby Boy."

Paul said he had always admired Beyoncé, 40, during her time with Destiny's Child, so when he heard she was going solo and wanted to collaborate with him on a single, he was in.

"I was like 'Hell f---ing yeah.' I thought it was going to be R&B, but it ended up being dancehall, so that made me go off," he told the outlet. "That was a bangin' track."

When asked to confirm if the relationship was ever romantic, per rumors at the time, Paul shut down the speculation and said they never hooked up.

"Nah! I wish I did! She's beautiful," the "Temperature" singer said.

Singers Sean Paul and Beyonce Knowles perform on stage during the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards at Ocean Terminal on November 6, 2003 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Mark Mainz/Getty

Because of the gossip, Paul claimed that he and Beyoncé "had to have a speak about it" and only performed "Baby Boy" live together three times, though it was a chart-topping hit that spent nine weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in fall 2003.

"It was a big, fat, sexy song," he said, later adding that the track's steamy visual likely helped fuel the hearsay. "Sexy video, sexy song, and a lot of sexy rumors."

Sean Paul And Beyonce Knowles during MTV Europe Music Awards 2003 - Rehearsals at Ocean Terminal Arena in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

The "No Lie" singer said the romance rumors may have affected his working relationship with Beyoncé, alleging that he was inexplicably cut at the last minute from a planned performance of "Baby Boy" at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2003.

"I'm sitting there in the crowd with my present wife and Paris Hilton is sitting in front of me," he said. "Beyoncé is coming down the stairs singing the song and Paris Hilton turns to me and goes 'Why aren't you up there?' It was embarrassing and weird."

After the supposed snub, the two went to Washington D.C. where they were slated to perform the song once more — before Paul called it off.

"I went there, did my show, and then waited around for a while. And I got pissed off," he said. "They were like 'There are 3,000 influential people waiting out there for you to do it.' And I was like, 'There were 50 million people watching the VMAs. I'm not doing it.' And I left."

A rep for Beyonce did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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