Elton John: How I got Britney Spears to sing again after a traumatic time

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Britney Spears is back on the top of the charts thanks to the support of her friend Elton John.

In a new interview, the legendary Rocket Man detailed how he got the Princess of Pop to return to the studio for the first time in six years — and since the end of her conservatorship — to record their duet, “Hold Me Closer.”

“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 all right,” John told The Guardian.

“I’m so excited to be able to do it with her because if it is a big hit, and I think it may be, it will give her so much more confidence than she’s got already and she will realize that people actually love her and care for her and want her to be happy. That’s all anybody in their right mind would want after she went through such a traumatic time.”

John explained that after the success of his 2021 single with Dua Lipa, “Cold Heart,” he started brainstorming ideas for another “fun, happy summer record” when his husband, David Furnish, “said it would be wonderful for Britney Spears to do it.”

John, 75, agreed it would be a good idea, having been a fan of Spears, 40, for years.

“She just put out incredibly brilliant records,” he raved. “She sang and danced so beautifully.”


John decided to reach out to test the waters, and he was thrilled when Spears jumped at the opportunity to work together.

As Page Six exclusively reported, the “Toxic” singer recorded her parts of the “Tiny Dancer” remix at producer Andrew Watt’s Beverly Hills studio in July.

“She was so prepared. She had spent time with the record and knew how she wanted to do it,” Watt, 31, told The Guardian. “She’s unbelievable at layering her voice and doubling, which is one of the hardest things to do. She really pushed herself, vocally. … She’s so good at knowing when she got the right take. She took complete control.”

John was equally impressed.

“She sang fantastically,” he gushed. “Everyone was saying they don’t think she can sing anymore. 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.”

The collaboration struck a chord for John, who, like Spears, has dealt with various struggles in the spotlight.

“Britney was broken. I was broken when I got sober. I was in a terrible place,” said the “I’m Still Standing” singer, who is now 32 years clean. “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.”

John hopes “Hold Me Closer” is just the first taste of a comeback for Spears, who went on a work strike in 2019 that ultimately led to freedom from her estranged father’s control.

“Rehabilitation is such a wonderful thing for anybody,” John said. “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.”

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