Britney Spears and Elton John.
Elton John and Britney Spears have collaborated for the first time, creating the slinky, club-ready single â€œHold Me Closerâ€ that sees the pop icons take old sounds and fashion something new.
The funky, piano-driven single uses Johnâ€™s 1971 hit â€œTiny Dancerâ€ as the skeleton and adds elements from his songs â€œThe Oneâ€ and â€œDonâ€™t Go Breaking My Heart,â€ all with Spears voice soaring and fluttering.
While John has been releasing new music in the past few years â€” including the 16-track 2021 album â€œThe Lockdown Sessionsâ€ â€” the song represents Spearâ€™s first new music since her 2016 album â€œGloryâ€ and her first offering since the ending of her contentious conservatorship.
â€œShe truly is an icon, one of the all-time great pop stars and she sounds amazing on this record. I love her dearly and am delighted with what weâ€™ve created together,â€ John said in a statement. Spears, in her statement, told John it was an honor to be asked:â€ Â I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to work with you and your legendary mind.â€
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 song begins with both stars singing the opening lyrics of â€œThe Oneâ€ â€” â€œI saw you dancing out the ocean/Running fast along the sand/A spirit born of earth and water/Fire flying from your hands.â€ It then seamlessly moves to â€Tiny Dancerâ€: â€œHold me closer, tiny dancer/Count the headlights on the highway/Lay me down in sheets of linen/You had a busy day today.â€
The track calls to mind last yearâ€™s hit â€œCold Heart (PNAU Remix),â€ which melded Johnâ€™s songs â€œKiss the Bride,â€ â€œRocket Man,â€ â€œWhereâ€™s the Shoorah?â€ and â€œSacrificeâ€ 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 â€œTiny Dancer,â€ sowing the seeds for the latest collaboration. John is in the midst of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.