Elton John Hopes That Their ‘Hold Me Closer’ Duet Will Give Britney Spears New Musical ‘Confidence’
Spears stepped away from music and performing back in 2019, which prompted her concerned supporters to start the #FreeBritney movement, demanding that the conservatorship that had controlled her personal and professional lives for a decade-plus be ended.
“You forget she was the biggest star in the whole world at that time,” John says. “And to see what happened to her makes me so angry. What happened to her shouldn’t have happened to anybody.”
Spears hit the studio with Grammy-winning producer Watt to record new vocals for the duet, which includes lyrics from John’s “Tiny Dancer” and “The One.” John tells The Guardian that his team got Spears’ stamp of approval on the final product. “She’s been away 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 officially for so long,” he says. “We’ve been holding her hand through the whole process, reassuring her that everything’s gonna be all right.” For his part, Watt says of Spears, “She really pushed herself, vocally. Sometimes when you produce, the greatest thing in the world you can do is say nothing, so I just let her do her thing. She’s so good at knowing when she got the right take. She took complete control.”
John hopes “Hold Me Closer” is another chart success story, just like “Cold Heart” before it, so Spears can feel the love from pop fans. “I’m so excited to be able to do it with her because if it is a big hit, and I think it may be, it will give her so much more confidence than she’s got already and she will realize that people actually love her and care for her and want her to be happy,” John says. “That’s all anybody in their right mind would want after she went through such a traumatic time.”
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