Fans of both artists had reason to rejoice on Friday when the pair’s long-awaited, collaborative single Hold Me Closer was finally released.
The upbeat dance-pop track is a rework of John’s existing hit, Tiny Dancer, with elements of his other popular songs, The One and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, also featured. Spears’ vocals work in tandem with John’s to bring the club-ready track to life.
Hold Me Closer is the first track released by Spears, 40, since the end of her 13-year conservatorship in November 2021.
While John, 75, has been releasing new music in the past few years — including the 16-track 2021 album The Lockdown Sessions — the song is Spears’ first piece of new music since her 2016 album Glory.
Before the song’s release Friday, John playfully teased the collaboration at a Cannes restaurant during an Instagram Live stream. He re-uploaded the clip to his Instagram account on Wednesday, where the Rocket Man singer approached a DJ booth to introduce the song. John sang along to the track as restaurant patrons cheered enthusiastically.
Afterward, Spears tweeted about the new track, writing in an emoji-filled post that it was “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 !!!” she continued. “I’m meditating more and learning my space is valuable and precious !!!”
She continued in a Twitter thread, writing that she is “learning everyday is a clean slate to try and be a better person and do what makes me happy.”
“I want to be fearless like when I was younger and not be so scared and fearful,” she concluded. “I pray there actually is truth to the Holy Spirit and I hope that spirit is with my children as well !!! Yes … I choose happiness and joy today !!!”
The track is produced by Andrew Watt, who has worked with such acts as Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Ozzy Osbourne, Justin Bieber, Post Malone and Miley Cyrus.
The track calls to mind last year’s hit Cold Heart (PNAU Remix), which melded John’s songs Kiss the Bride, Rocket Man, Where’s the Shoorah? and Sacrifice into a dance bop featuring vocals by Dua Lipa.
John and Spears first met in 2014 at an Oscar viewing party and she later tweeted her love of Tiny Dancer, sowing the seeds for the latest collaboration. John is in the midst of his self-proclaimed final tour, the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
— With files from Reuters
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