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Britney Spears Recounts Making Elton John’s “Hold Me Closer” in


Oct 26, 2023

Britney Spears made her long-awaited musical comeback in the summer of 2022 with a collaboration with none other than Elton John. The two artists joined forces for a new version of “Tiny Dancer,” and the infectious single, called “Hold Me Closer,” was released on Aug. 26.

The project was incredibly meaningful for both Spears and her fans, as the singer hadn’t released new music since 2016’s “Glory.” She’d also been released her 13-year conservatorship a year prior and was finally free to create the music she wanted.

In her memoir “The Woman in Me,” which was released on Oct. 24, Spears recounts how happy she was to have the ability to collaborate with John. “I was honored. Like me, Elton John has been through so much, so publicly,” she wrote. “It’s given him incredible compassion. What a beautiful man on all levels. To make the collaboration even more meaningful: as a child, I listened to ‘Tiny Dancer’ in the car in Louisiana as I rode to and from my dance and gymnastics classes.”

Spears also celebrated how happy she was to be putting music into the world “on my own terms.”

The single’s release was soon followed by a catchy remix, helmed by DJ and producer Joel Corry, which was released on Oct. 7, 2022, along with a trippy visualizer. The music video for the original song dropped on Sept. 27, 2022. Helmed by Ukrainian music video director Tanu Muino, the visual was shot in Mexico City and features choreography by Jacob Jonas. “This was an emotional one for me as I grew up with Britney,” Muino, who also directed Harry Styles’s “As It Was” music video, said in a press release received by POPSUGAR. “After seeing ‘I’m a Slave 4 U,’ I decided that I wanted to become a video director. Elton John is an icon that I and the world grew up listening to.”

“Hold Me Closer” — which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart — is similar to John’s 2022 hit with Dua Lipa, “Cold Heart,” combining the chorus of John’s iconic “Tiny Dancer” with verses from his 1992 song “The One.”

Shortly after the release, Spears sent John a special video message that he shared on his own profile. In the clip, Spears (adopting a faux-British accent) says, “Hello, Sir Elton John. We are, like, number one in 40 countries. Holy sh*t. I’m in the tub right now, and I’m about to go have the best day ever.” Alongside the video, John captioned his post, “Hey Britney!! Thank you for this message. You’ve made my day!! Hope everyone has the best day dancing to our song!”

The accompanying track art features childhood photos of both Spears and John, with the former appropriately dressed in a dance costume.

Interscope Records

The duet’s existence was initially confirmed on Aug. 2, 2022, by one of Spears’s friends, Paris Hilton. In an interview with Paul Barewijk for his show, “Paul Voor Je Neus,” Hilton said she’d heard the song already. “It’s gonna be iconic,” Hilton said. “I just heard it a couple days ago in Ibiza, and it is, it’s insane.” On Aug. 26, 2022, Hilton celebrated the track’s debut with an Instagram video of herself dancing, writing, “The Queen is officially back.”

The official confirmation came several weeks after Spears shared a homemade video of herself singing a new version of ” . . . Baby One More Time,” expressing that she had been asking “for what I wanted for 14 years . . . a different version of ‘Baby.'” On Nov. 17, 2021, a source informed People that Spears “wants to give her fans a new album.”

However, the musician has also been vocal on social media about her fears about returning to the recording industry. “After what I’ve been through, I’m scared of people and the business !!!! They really hurt me !!!!!!!” Spears wrote in an Instagram post shared on Jan. 3, 2022. In her memoir, she also says she’s more focused on healing than making new music nowadays. “Pushing forward in my music career is not my main concern,” she wrote. “Right now it’s time for me to get my spiritual life in order, to pay attention to the little things, to slow down.” Still, she makes it clear that her love for music is as strong as it was when she was a little girl, listening to “Tiny Dancer” on the way to dance class.


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