ETon John and Britney Spears have collaborated for the first time, creating the club-ready single “Hold Me Closer”, which sees the pop icons take old sounds and create something new.
The funky piano-driven single uses John’s 1971 hit “Tiny Dancer” as its backbone and adds elements from his songs “The One” and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” all with Spears’ vocals soaring and fleet.
While John has released new music in recent years — including the 16-track 2021 album “The Lockdown Sessions” — the song represents Spear’s first new music since her 2016 album “Glory” and her first offering. since the end of his disputed guardianship.
“She’s truly an icon, one of the biggest pop stars of all time and she sounds amazing on this record. I love her so much and I’m thrilled with what we’ve created together,” John said in a statement. Spears, in her statement, told John it was an honor to be invited: “I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with you and your legendary spirit.”
The track is produced by Andrew Watt, who has worked with artists including Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Ozzy Osbourne, Justin Bieber, Post Malone and Miley Cyrus.
The song begins with the two stars singing the opening lyrics to “The One” – “I saw you dancing on the ocean/Running fast along the sand/A spirit born of earth and water/ Fire flying from your hands.” It then seamlessly transitions to “Tiny Dancer”: “Hold me closer, little dancer / Count the headlights on the freeway / Lay me down in linen sheets / You’ve had a busy day today. “
The track calls back to last year’s hit “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)”, which merged John’s songs “Kiss the Bride”, “Rocket Man”, “Where’s the Shoorah?” and “Sacrifice” in a dance bop with vocals by Dua Lipa.
John and Spears first met in 2014 at an Oscars viewing party and she later tweeted her love for “Tiny Dancer,” sowing the seeds for the latest collaboration. John is in the middle of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
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