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Hear Elton John and Britney Spears’ collaboration ‘Hold Me Closer’

Spears said she's “overwhelmed” at relaunching her music career with the song

By Charlotte Krol

Elton John and Britney Spears are seen in a composite image
Elton John; Britney Spears. (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Jørund Føreland Pedersen; Wikimedia Commons/Austin Hargrave

Elton John and Britney Spears have released their anticipated collaboration ‘Hold Me Closer’.

The new track is a mash-up of John’s 1972 single ‘Tiny Dancer’ and his 1992 single ‘The One’.

‘Hold Me Closer’ is the first song released by Spears in six years besides ‘Swimming In The Stars’, an outtake from her most recent album, Glory (2016), which she shared in 2020 to mark her 39th birthday.

Yesterday (25 August) Spears said she was “overwhelmed” as she prepared to release the song.

It also marks Spears’ first new music since she was released from her conservatorship last year.

John teased the collaboration earlier this week by surprising diners in a restaurant in Cannes, France with a rendition of the song. He’d asked a DJ to play the song and then sang over it.

The pop legend previously teased snippets of the collaboration with fans.

Spears wrote on Twitter: “It’s pretty damn cool that I’m singing with one of the most classic men of our time.

“I’m kinda overwhelmed… it’s a big deal to me!!! I’m meditating more and learning my space is valuable and precious!!!”

In a new interview with The Guardian John said that his husband, David Furnish, suggested he ask Spears to sing on the track. John was aware of Spears’ troubled years under her conservatorship and felt compelled to give her a boost.

“It’s hard when you’re young. Britney was broken. I was broken when I got sober. I was in a terrible place. I’ve been through that broken feeling and it’s horrible,” he said.

“And luckily enough, I’ve been sober for 32 years and it’s the happiest I’ve ever been. Now I’ve got the experience to be able to advise people and help them because I don’t want to see any artists in a dark place. A lot of artists, you’d think they’d have a lot of self-esteem but they don’t, and that’s why we go onstage and we get the applause, and then we come offstage and we’re back to square one.”

‘Hold Me Closer’ is a follow-up to John’s collaboration with Dua Lipa, ‘Cold Heart’. The PNAU-remixed song was a mash-up of several of John’s hits including ‘Rocket Man’ and ‘Sacrifice’. It appeared on his 2021 album The Lockdown Sessions.

In other news, John warned recently that upcoming UK artists “risk being stranded in Dover” if ongoing problems surrounding touring the EU are not sorted.