elton John and Britney Spears collaborate for the first time on the sleek, club-ready single “Hold Me Closer,” in which the pop icons take old sounds and create something new.
The funky, piano-driven single uses John’s 1971 hit “Tiny Dancer” as a skeleton and adds elements of his songs “The One” and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” all with Spears’ soaring and fluttering voice .
Although John has been releasing new music over the past few years — including 2021’s 16-track album The Lockdown Sessions — the track marks Spear’s first new music since her 2016 album Glory and her the first proposal since the end of her controversial conservatism.
“She really is an icon, one of the biggest pop stars of all time, and she sounds incredible on this record. I love her very much and am in awe of what we have created together,” John said in a statement. In her statement, Spears told John she was honored to be asked: “I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with you and your legendary mind.”
The track was produced by Andrew Watt, who has worked with artists such as Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Ozzy Osbourne, Justin Bieber, Post Malone and Miley Cyrus.
The song opens with the two stars singing the opening lyrics to “The One” – “I saw you dancing in the ocean/Running fast on the sand/Spirit born of earth and water/Fire flying from your hands.” Then seamlessly segues into “ Tiny Dancer’: “Hold me closer, tiny dancer/Count the lights on the highway/Lay me in bed sheets/It’s been a busy day.”
The track is reminiscent of last year’s hit “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix),” which brings together John’s songs “Kiss the Bride,” “Rocket Man,” “Where’s the Shoorah?” and “Sacrifice” in dance bop with vocals by Dua Lipa.
John and Spears first met in 2014 at an Oscars viewing party, and she later tweeted her love for “Tiny Dancer,” planting the seeds for the latest collaboration. John is in on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
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