Elton John and Britney Spears collaborated for the first time, creating the club-ready single “Hold Me Closer” in which the pop icons take old sounds to create something new.
The funk, piano-infused single uses John’s 1971 hit “Tiny Dancer” and adds elements of his songs “The One” and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” flashing along with Spears’ vocals.
Though John has released new music in recent years — including 2021’s 16-song album “The Lockdown Sessions” — for Spears it’s her first new music since her 2016 album “Glory” and her first release since ending her controversial tutelage. legal.
“She really is an icon, one of the greatest pop stars of all time, and she sounds amazing on this recording. I love her dearly and am thrilled with what we have created together,” John said in a statement. Spears, in her statement, said it was an honor to be invited by John: “I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to work with you and your legendary mind.”
The song is produced by Andrew Watt, who has worked with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Ozzy Osbourne, Justin Bieber, Post Malone and Miley Cyrus.
It begins with the opening lines of “The One” — “I saw you dancing out of the ocean/Running fast along the sand/A spirit born of earth and water/Fire flying from your hands” on the sand / A spirit born of earth and water / Fire flying from your hands). Then he smoothly advances to the lyrics of “Tiny Dancer”: “Hold me closer, tiny dancer/Count the headlights on the highway/Lay me down in sheets of linen/You had a busy day today” car headlights on the highway/Lay me down on linen sheets/You had a rough day today).
The track is reminiscent of last year’s hit “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)”, which mixed John’s songs “Kiss the Bride”, “Rocket Man”, “Where’s the Shoorah?” and “Sacrifice” for a dance piece with the voice of Dua Lipa.
John and Spears first met in 2014 at an Oscars party, and she later tweeted her love for “Tiny Dancer,” planting the seeds for her latest collaboration. John is on her Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour’s farewell tour.