Britney’s back, y’all. On Friday, she released her first song in six years: a collaboration with Elton John called “Hold Me Closer,” a mashup of John’s “Tiny Dancer” and “The One,” and it might be the earworm of the late summer.
The bop quickly climbed the charts and reached No. 1 on iTunes in the U.S. and 34 of other countries, according to TMZ.
Spears took to Twitter to celebrate the release, the first since the end of her 13-year conservatorship.
"Hello Sir Elton John, we are like No. 1 in 40 countries," she says in her best English accent before yelling in glee: "Holy sh*t! I'm in the tub right now and I'm about to go have the best day ever and I hope you're well."
Fans were over the moon for Spears. So was John, who replied in the comments, "Hey Britney!! Thank you for this message. You've made my day!! Hope everyone has the best day dancing to our song! #HoldMeCloser."
He also shared how pleased he was that everyone was feeling the new track. "I'm thrilled with the response to #HoldMeCloser I wanted to do a fun, happy summer track so was ecstatic when @britneyspears agreed to be a part of it! She truly is an icon, one of the all-time great pop stars & I love her dearly. I hope you all love it!" John wrote in a separate tweet.
This isn’t the first time John has teamed up with a pop star to put a fresh dancy spin on one of his songs. Last summer, he teamed up with Dua Lipa for the track “Cold Heart,” which combined his hits “Rocket Man,” “Sacrifice,” “Kiss the Bride,” and “Where’s The Shoorah?” He decided he wanted to do a remix once a year for “a fun, happy summer record.” When he started playing with “Tiny Dancer,” it was John’s husband David Furnish who suggested Spears be the guest vocalist on this track.
“He said it would be wonderful for Britney Spears to do it,” John told The Guardian. “I said, that’s a pretty amazing idea. She hadn’t done anything for so long. I’d been following what’s been happening to her for a long time.”
John, who went through more than his fair share of trials and tribulations when he was a young musician, followed Spears’ conservatorship trial, which he said “shouldn’t have happened to anybody,” adding that younger musicians and artists “deserve to be happy and to be loved and to have an affirmation from someone like me. When I first went to America, I had affirmations from Leon Russell, George Harrison, the Band, Neil Diamond—it made me so happy.” John felt like he was able to do that for Spears, amongst others, calling himself “Uncle Elton.”
“Rehabilitation is such a wonderful thing for anybody,” John added. “And I’m just crossing my fingers that this will restore her confidence in herself to get back into the studio, make more records, and realize that she is bloody good.”
She is bloody good. And so is this song. Please excuse me while I listen to “Hold Me Closer” on repeat for the foreseeable future.