Britney Spears joins Elton John for first song since conservatorship



Britney Spears is back, with a club stunner in tow.

Spears teamed up with Elton John for the new song “Hold Me Closer,” a collaboration that marks her first music release since her 13-year conservatory ended late last year.

Released Friday, the song opens with a verse from John’s “The One,” an upbeat bass-heavy take on his 1971 classic “Tiny Dancer,” featuring vocals from both singers and notable riffs from Spears. John announced the single on Instagram this month, sharing album covers of the artists as kids along with a more recent photo of them both.

On Wednesday, Spears described the new studio recording on Twitter as “my first song in 6 years.” (The singles she released in 2020 were recorded around the time of her 2016 album ‘Glory’.)

In November, a California judge ended custody of Spears, a settlement whereby her father and others outside their household exercised almost complete control over her personal life and finances. Spears, who was placed under receivership in 2008 after exhibiting erratic behavior in public, argued in court that it was “shameful” and “insulting” toward her.

Britney Spears has been in a conservatory for over ten years. (Video: Monica Rodman, Sarah Hashemi/The Washington Post)

Spears also described being stripped of her sense of autonomy under the conservatory. In addition to having to ask permission for medical treatment, such as having her IUD removed, Spears recalled being forced to perform while she was not feeling well. Shortly after the conservatory was disbanded, she said on Instagram that she would be taking a break from making music, in part as a form of retaliation.

“After what I’ve been through, I’m scared of people and the company!” Spears wrote in a caption on her since-deleted account. ‘They really hurt me! Stopping my music is my way of saying ‘f— you’, in a way when it only benefits my family by ignoring my real work.”

Although Spears later changed his mind and wrote on Wednesday that she… says to himself “Every day to let go of the hurt bitterness and forgive myself and others what may have been hurtful,” John suggested in an interview with the Guardian that some hesitation remained.

“She’s been gone 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 for so long,” he said. “We held her hand throughout the process and reassured her that everything will be fine.”

John has collaborated with a wide variety of artists in recent years, including Brandi Carlile, Nicki Minaj and Yo-Yo Ma. The new “Hold Me Closer” is reminiscent of John’s “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)”, a 2021 duet with Dua Lipa performing “Rocket Man”, “Kiss the Bride”, “Sacrifice” and “Where’s the Shoorah?”

In the Guardian interview, John noted that he was particularly concerned with Spears’ journey.

“It’s hard when you’re young. Britney was broken. I was broken when I got sober,” he said. “Now I have the experience to advise and help people, because I don’t want to see artists in a dark place.”

On Twitter, Spears describes it as “damn cool that I’m singing with one of the most classic men of our time.”

“I’m a little overwhelmed,” she added. “It’s a big problem for me!!!”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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