Pop legends Britney Spears and Elton John have released their new duet ‘Hold Me Closer’.
It was made available Friday at midnight on the East Coast via streaming services, while an official audio video debuted on John’s YouTube page along with the simple message, “Elton John & Britney Spears’ new single ‘Hold Me Closer’ is out now !”
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The duo have been teasing their collaboration for weeks now, with its official title revealed on August 19th after its pre-stock availability was announced and the cover previewed on August 8th. The song’s title is based on the first three lines of the chorus of John’s 1971 hit ‘Tiny Dancer’, which he co-wrote with longtime creative partner Bernie Taupin for the Crazy across the water album.
“Hold Me Close” marks one of Spears’ first major releases since her 2016 album Glory and first new music since the end of her 13-year conservatory.
“I was so honored when the incredible Sir Elton John asked me to join him on one of his most iconic songs. We are so excited for fans to hear it! Thank you, Elton, for having me!” Spears said in a statement following the song’s release. “I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with you and your legendary mind.”
In a series of tweets on August 24, just two days before its release, Spears expressed her excitement for the song’s release. “Okie dokie…my first song in 6 years” he wrote on Twitter. “So cool to be singing with one of the most classic men of our time…@eltonofficial !!!! I’m kind of overwhelmed… it’s a big deal to me.”
John shared several sneak peeks of the song ahead of its release. This includes footage of him previewing the track to a cheering crowd at La Guérite in Cannes before sharing a cleaner clip of the single accompanied by a rose and rocket animation. Spears also posted a teaser of the song on her Instagram, but has deleted her account as of Thursday night.
The duet is the latest collaboration celebrating John’s catalog. Prior to his duet with Spears, he collaborated with Dua Lipa and Pnau on the 2021 release “Cold Heart,” which included elements of John’s 1972 hit “Rocket Man” as well as “Sacrifice,” “Kiss the Bride” and “Where’s the Shoorah?”
While “Tiny Dancer” is probably the most recognizable influence on “Hold Me Closer” for a number of reasons, it also includes references to John’s 1992 song “The One” and 1976’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”
In an interview published Thursday, John confirmed plans to continue doing similar collaborations, saying The guardian“I want to do one every year for a fun, happy summer record.”
The Grammy-winning musician also opened up about working with Spears, who recorded in Los Angeles during her honeymoon with producer Andrew Watt. He revealed that the specific idea to work with Spears came from his husband, David Furnish, with John calling it “a pretty amazing idea”.
“Everybody was saying they don’t think she can sing anymore,” she said at one point in the interview. “But I said she was great when she started, so I think she can. And he did, and I was so excited about what he did.”
Producer Watt described Spears as “really collaborative” and exacting in her vision for one half of the collaboration, conceptualizing her vocal tracks, while also being “incredibly specific” about how her vocals and levels were mixed.
John shared that she “sang fantastic” and hopes the song will not only give her “a lot more confidence than she already has,” but also help her realize “that people really love her and care about her and want to she is happy “
“She’s been gone for so long – there’s a lot of fear there because she’s been betrayed so many times and hasn’t come out officially for so long,” he said, referring to her eventual now conservative position. “We were holding her hand through the whole process, reassuring her that everything was going to be okay.”
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