By Kerri-Ann Roper, PA Entertainment Editor
Sir Elton John has said he hopes his collaboration with Britney Spears is a hit so it helps to restore her confidence to make more music.
The pair has released their much-anticipated duet, Hold Me Closer, which mixes his 1971 hit Tiny Dancer with his 1992 song The One, while parts of Don’t Go Breaking My Heart from 1976 also featured in the track.
The single marks the first new music from Spears, 40, in six years and her first musical foray since the 13-year conservatorship which allowed her father Jamie Spears to control her freedom and finances.
Elton John, 75, told The Guardian: “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, 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 on stage and we get the applause, and then we come off stage and we’re back to square one.”
He said the idea to work with Spears came from his husband, David Furnish.
The song follows the success of the Rocketman singer’s collaboration with Dua Lipa on their track Cold Heart (Pnau Remix), released last year as the lead single from John’s 32nd studio album, titled The Lockdown Sessions.
John told The Guardian that Spears had to approve the music, adding: “She’s been away so long – there’s a lot of fear there, because she’s been betrayed so many times and she hasn’t really been in the public eye officially for so long.
“We’ve been holding her hand through the whole process, reassuring her that everything’s gonna be all right.”
The singer, who has been travelling the globe as part of his marathon Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, added that he hoped the song will “restore her confidence in herself to get back into the studio, make more records, and realise that she is bloody good.”
In an official release, Spears said: “I was so honoured when the incredible Sir Elton John asked me to join him on one his most iconic songs.
“We are so excited for the fans to hear it! Thank you, Elton, for having me! I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to work with you and your legendary mind.”
In June this year Spears married her long-time partner Sam Asghari at her home in Los Angeles at a ceremony which included high profile celebrity guests including Madonna, Donatella Versace, Paris Hilton, Selena Gomez and Drew Barrymore.
Spears wore a custom Versace off-the-shoulder wedding dress on the day.
She appeared to have deleted her Instagram account prior to Hold Me Closer being released, but a verified Twitter account in her name, with nearly 56 million followers, remains active.
Okie dokie … my first song in 6 years 🎶 !!!! It’s pretty damn cool that I’m singing with one of
the most classic men of our time … @eltonofficial 🚀!!!! I’m kinda overwhelmed… it’s a big deal to me !!! I’m meditating more 🧘🏼♀️ and learning my space is valuable and precious !!!
— Britney Spears 🌹🚀 (@britneyspears) August 25, 2022
A tweet posted the day before the song was released and pinned at the top of the Twitter feed said: “Okie dokie … my first song in 6 years !!!! It’s pretty damn cool that I’m singing with one of the most classic men of our time … @eltonofficial !!!! I’m kinda overwhelmed… it’s a big deal to me !!! I’m meditating more and learning my space is valuable and precious !!!”
Fitness trainer and model Asghari, 28, shared a snippet of the song on Instagram writing: “Proud husband moment! I will be listening to this all night!”
Designer Donatella Versace commented on his post saying that she thought Britney and Elton were “incredible” together adding: “Looove the song”.