Britney Spears is back in the music scene — this time as a free woman, finally.
Just hours after the track allegedly leaked online, Spears’ “Hold Me Closer” duet with Elton John hit streaming services on Friday (Aug. 19). The song, which is a fresh take on John’s 1972 classic “Tiny Dancer” produced by Grammy winner Andrew Watt, features the pop princess and the “Rocketman” himself singing the opening verse of John’s 1992 hit, “The One” over a club-ready beat, before diving into the chorus of 1971’s “Tiny Dancer.”
“Since most say they are honored TO KNOW ME SO WELL and only want happiness for me … you can bet your bottom dollar that THIS collaboration will heighten my year by joining your brilliant hands of play,” Spears wrote on Instagram ahead of the song’s release. “Thank you for your generosity and just thinking of me to join you on such a brilliant song !!! How cool is it to be a background voice ON YOUR song !!! Sir Elton I did it thanks to your genius, creative, and legendary mind !!! I am so grateful !!! I just keep on giving don’t I ??? Can I get an AWWWWE ???”
“Hold Me Closer” is Spears’ first new music since her 2016 studio album Glory, which also included deluxe tracks “Mood Ring,” “Swimming in the Stars” and the Backstreet Boys-assisted “Matches” that were released in 2020. Most notably, the collaboration will mark Spears’ official return to music since the end of her 13-year conservatorship.
“Tiny Dancer,” originally included as part of John’s 1971 album Madman Across the Water, was released as a single in 1972 and peaked at No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2000, the song was famously featured in a sing-along bus scene in Cameron Crowe’s film Almost Famous.
Listen to Spears and John’s “Hold Me Closer” below.