Elton John Hopes That The ‘Hold Me Closer’ Duet Will Give Britney Spears A New Musical Confidence Boost


Before the release of his “Hold Me Closer” duet with Britney Spears, Elton John spoke with The Guardian about how the collaboration came about and why it’s important to him to support Spears now that she’s out of conservatorship.


To begin, John revealed that it was his husband, David Furnish, who first suggested working with Spears. The pair had discussed creating another patchwork song in the vein of his top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hit “Cold Heart” with Dua Lipa, which features lyrics from four of his classic songs stitched together. According to John, Furnish stated that “it would be fantastic for Britney Spears to do it.” “‘That’s a pretty amazing idea,’ I said. She hadn’t done anything in a long time. I’d been watching what was going on with her for a long time.”

Spears retired from music and performing in 2019, prompting her concerned fans to launch the #FreeBritney movement, demanding that the conservatorship that had controlled her personal and professional lives for more than a decade be lifted.


“You forget she was the world’s biggest star at the time,” John says. “And seeing what happened to her enrages me.” What happened to her should never have happened to anyone else.”

Spears went into the studio with Grammy winner Watt to record new vocals for the duet, which features lyrics from John’s “Tiny Dancer” and “The One.” According to John, his team received Spears’ approval on the final product. “She’s been gone for 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 for so long,” he says. “We’ve been holding her hand throughout the process, assuring her that everything will be fine.” Watt says of Spears, “She really pushed herself vocally.” When you’re producing, sometimes the best thing you can do is say nothing, so I just let her do her thing. She’s very good at recognising when she’s got the right take. She assumed complete command.”


John hopes that “Hold Me Closer,” like “Cold Heart” before it, will be a chart success story so that Spears can feel the love of pop fans. “I’m so excited to be able to do it with her because if it’s a big hit, which I believe it will be,” John says, “it will give her so much more confidence than she already has and she will realise that people actually love her and care about her and want her to be happy.” “That’s all anyone in their right mind would want after such a traumatic time.”

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