Elton is rooting for the song to be a big hit so Britney "will realize that people actually love her and care for her and want her to be happy."
It's been a long time coming for fans of Britney Spears, but the one-time Queen of Pop has finally released a new single, and it's a collaboration with Elton John remixing his hits "Tiny Dancer," "The One," and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart."
The new track is definitely club mixed for maximum dance impact, with a sound perfectly in line with Britney's existing iconic catalog of music. At midnight on Friday, Spears and John officially released the track called "Hold Me Closer," though sadly there was no accompanying music video.
It was a collaboration without the two of them joining up in the studio, though, so a video would have been a bit of a challenge. Plus, in a recent interview with The Guardian, Elton said that Britney was a little trepidatious about the whole project.
"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," Elton told the outlet. "We’ve been holding her hand through the whole process, reassuring her that everything’s gonna be all right."
Grammy-winning producer Watt was in the studio with Spears when she layed down her vocals, and got involved with getting just the right take -- leaning on her years of experience, even if she hasn't performed since 2019.
"She sang fantastically," Elton said. "Everyone was saying they don’t think she can sing any more. But I said, she was brilliant when she started so I think she can. And she did it, and I was so thrilled with what she did."
"She really pushed herself, vocally," Watt said. "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."
Elton told The Guardian that he's hoping for a huge hit with the new track because he wants that statement of love and support for Britney after all she's been through.
"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," he said. "That’s all anybody in their right mind would want after she went through such a traumatic time."
Elton said Britney was nervous about releasing the single even after they'd finalized the production. On the eve of its release, she took to Twitter to share her nerves and excitement about it.
"I'm learning every day is a clean slate to try and be a better person and do what makes me happy ... yes I choose happiness today," she tweeted after sharing her excitement about getting to work with Elton. "I tell myself every day to let go of the hurt bitterness and try to forgive myself and others to what may have been hurtful."
"I want to be fearless like when I was younger and not be so scared and fearful," she wrote in a follow-up tweet. "I pray there actually is truth to the Holy Spirit and I hope that spirit is with my children as well !!! Yes … I choose happiness and joy today !!!"
"Hold Me Closer" is a follow-up of sorts to Elton's 2021 duet with Dua Lipa, which was also a mashup of some of his classic hits like "Rocket Man," "Sacrifice," "Kiss the Bride," and "Where's the Shoorah?" That track hit the UK Top 10. He's hoping to "do one every year for a fun, happy summer record."
Elton credits husband David Furnish with the idea of collaborating with Britney now that she is free from the 13-year conservatorship that controlled her life and career.
"You forget she was the biggest star in the whole world at that time. And to see what happened to her makes me so angry," Elton said. "What happened to her shouldn’t have happened to anybody."
Elton said he love working with musicians who've struggled through difficulties because he's been there, too. "Britney was broken. I was broken when I got sober," he said. "I was in a terrible place. I’ve been through that broken feeling and it’s horrible."
"Now I’ve got the experience to be able to advise people and help them because I don’t want to see any artists in a dark place," he added.