The song is a mash-up of John’s 1972 single ‘Tiny Dancer’ and 1992’s ‘The One’. Spears completed her performance for the recording in less than two hours, according to the Guardian.
‘Hold Me Closer’ marks Spears’ first new song in six years and her first release since she was released from her controversial 13-year conservatorship last year. Listen to the song below:
The collaboration was confirmed earlier this month and followed multiple claims that the pair were “secretly recording” a new version of John’s 1972 single ‘Tiny Dancer’. Earlier this week, John surprised diners in a restaurant in Cannes by getting the establishment’s DJs to play the song and singing over it.
Yesterday, Spears said she was “overwhelmed” at the prospect of releasing her first new song in six years. Spears’ ninth and most recent studio album, ‘Glory’, came out in 2016. She released an outtake from that record, ‘Swimming In The Stars’, in late 2020 to mark her 39th birthday.
“It’s pretty damn cool that I’m singing with one of the most classic men of our time,” she wrote on Twitter. “I’m kinda overwhelmed… it’s a big deal to me !!! I’m meditating more and learning my space is valuable and precious !!!”
‘Hold Me Closer’ is a follow-up to John’s collaboration with Dua Lipa, ‘Cold Heart’. Thas song, remixed by PNAU and mashing up several of his hits including ‘Rocket Man’ and ‘Sacrifice’, appeared on his 2021 album ‘The Lockdown Sessions’. John revealed to the Guardian he “want[s] to do one every year for a fun, happy summer record”.
It was John’s husband, David Furnish, who had the idea to bring Spears on board for the song. “She sang fantastically,” John told the Guardian. “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.”
Spears revealed that she was working on new music in December 2021, a month after her conservatorship, overseen by her father Jamie, was terminated.
Last month, Britney shared a video of herself singing an a cappella version of her hit single ‘Baby One More Time’. “I haven’t shared my voice in an extremely long time … maybe too long,” Spears wrote on Instagram alongside the video of her singing the hit 1998 song.
The new version of the song features a number of different lyrics, including in the chorus, when she sings: “Give me a fucking sign.”
In the caption to the video, Spears revealed that she has wanted to record a new version of the song for the duration of her conservatorship, but “the team said no.”