The Princess of Pop is back!
On Friday, Britney Spears Elton John unveiled their highly anticipated new duet “Hold Me Closer,” which combines the chorus of John’s 1972 smash “Tiny Dancer” and verses of his 1992 hit single “The One” with fresh, dance-pop production — and marks Spears’ first release since the termination of her 13-year conservatorship.
Ahead of its official debut, John, 75, previewed “Hold Me Closer” over the speakers of a Cannes restaurant during an Instagram Live stream, which has since been re-uploaded to the “Rocket Man” singer’s IG grid. In the clip, John introduces the song to ravenous applause from the dining spot’s patrons before singing along as it plays.
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spears posted on her Twitter account about the song, writing, “Okie dokie … my first song in 6 years 🎶 !!!! It’s pretty damn cool that I’m singing with one of the most classic men of our time … @eltonofficial 🚀!!!! I’ m kinda overwhelmed… it’s a big deal to me !!! I’m meditating more 🧘🏼♀️ and learning my space is valuable and precious !!!”
She continued, “I’m learning everyday is a clean slate to try and be a better person and do what makes me happy … yes I choose happiness today. 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. 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 ☀️ !!!?
Michael Kovac/Getty Britney Spears and Elton John
Earlier this month, the iconic pair of musicians revealed the “Hold Me Closer” single artwork, featuring childhood photos of Spears, 40, donning a pink dance costume and John playing the piano, respectively.
“Hold Me Closer” marks John’s second recent collaboration repurposing his earlier hits following last year’s “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)” with Dua Lipa, which mashes up 1972’s “Rocket Man,” 1976’s “Where’s the Shoorah?,” 1983’s “Kiss the Bride” and 1989’s “Sacrifice.”
The duet is Spears’ first release since the 2020 reissue of Glorywhich featured three previously unheard songs — “Mood Ring,” “Swimming in the Stars” and “Matches” with Backstreet Boys — recorded for its initial 2016 release.
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INTERSCOPE RECORDS Britney Spears, Elton John “Hold Me Closer” Single Cover
Released via Universal Music and produced by Andrew Watt, PEOPLE first learned Spears and John were working on an updated version of “Tiny Dancer” in July following a Page Six report.
The news arrived shortly after Spears and husband Sam Asghari enjoyed a rooftop hangout Saturday night with actor Taron Egerton, who played John in the 2019 musical biopic Rocketman.
“Coolest guy ever!!! Such a freaking fan… I was so stupid!!!” she captioned a since-deleted video of the visit.
The “Toxic” hitmaker missed out on John’s 30th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party — which the “Bennie and the Jets” musician was also absent from — back in March as her husband, 28, went in her place. “I wish she was [here]. Ela she’s at home doing a couple of stuff… ela She’s traveling a lot, “Asghari told Extra.
RELATED: Elton John Is Collaborating with Britney Spears on a New Version of ‘Tiny Dancer,’ Source Confirms
getty (2) Britney Spears and Elton John
A source told PEOPLE that Spears is “talking a lot about her career” after her 13-year conservatorship was terminated in November, adding that she “loves creating music and wants to give her fans a new album. It seems like she is focusing on one thing at a time.”
Spears previously teased a “different version” of her 1998 breakout single “…Baby One More Time” in a video on Instagram, revealing that she’s been campaigning for years to re-record the track, which wasn’t possible during her conservatorship .
“I haven’t shared my voice in an extremely long time… may be too long,” she wrote in the caption.
After the ruling to end her conservatorship, the Glory artist’s attorney Mathew Rosengart called it a “monumental day.”
“What’s next for Britney is up to one person — and this is the first time we can say this in a decade. It’s up to Britney,” he said. “Britney, as of today, is a free woman.”