Britney Spears Posts Heartfelt Thank You to Elton John After Their Recent Hit

“Hold Me Closer,” the singer’s first single in six years, comes nine months after she was freed from the conservatorship.
Britney Spears on the red carpet in Los Angeles.

Britney Spears on the red carpet in Los Angeles.

Six years since her last album and nine months after being freed from the conservatorship that consumed her life for 13 years, Britney Spears has come back with a bang. In July she released the single Hold Me Closer with British rock artist Elton John. On Oct. 11, she thanked Sir Elton in the sweetest Instagram post featuring fan art of the duo. 

Thank you to @eltonjohn for giving me the confidence and believing in me to do such a cool song 🎶 !!! Hold Me Closer went top 10 on the @billboard charts and #1 on the @itunes charts 🌹🚀 !!!

The song, which so far has peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, is a combination of two of John’s hits, “Tiny Dancer” (1971) and “The One" (1992). 

“She just put out incredibly brilliant records,” John told The Guardian of his knowledge of Spears before they partnered. “She sang and danced so beautifully.” 

Britney Spears and Elton John were friends and fans of each other long before their recent duet.

Britney Spears and Elton John were friends and fans of each other long before their recent duet.

In January 2019, Spears announced an “indefinite work hiatus,” and the #FreeBritney movement began trending. In September 2021, the New York Times released the documentary Framing Britney Spears, explaining details of her fight with her father and exposing the conservatorship. 

“You forget she was the biggest star in the whole world at that time. And to see what happened to her makes me so angry,” John told The Guardian in response to the documentary. “What happened to her shouldn’t have happened to anybody.”

A month after the film came out, Spears was freed and she vowed not to return to the music industry. A duet with John, however, was a no-brainer. When it came time to actually release the song, there was some hesitation. He said it was clear that she had been betrayed so many times and needed a bit of convincing to believe that this was O.K.

“We had to get her to approve what she did,” John told The Guardian. “She’s been away so long–there’s a lot of fear there because she’s been betrayed so many times and she hasn’t really been in the public eye officially for so long. We’ve been holding her hand through the whole process, reassuring her that everything’s gonna be alright.”

John recognized what a “traumatic time” Spears had been through. He was beyond excited to collaborate with her because the song’s potential success would be great for Spears’s confidence.

“She will realize that people actually love her and care for her and want her to be happy,” he added. “It’s hard when you’re young. Britney was broken. I’ve been through that broken feeling and it’s horrible. And luckily enough, I’ve been sober for 32 years and it’s the happiest I’ve ever been. Now I’ve got the experience to be able to advise people and help them because I don’t want to see any artists in a dark place. A lot of artists, you’d think they’d have a lot of self-esteem but they don’t, and that’s why we go onstage and we get the applause, and then we come offstage and we’re back to square one.”

Spears has got a lifelong fan in John, and vice versa.

“I’m just crossing my fingers that this will restore her confidence in herself to get back into the studio,” he told The Guardian, “make more records, and realize that she is bloody good.”

Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.