“Hold Me Closer,” which was released on Friday, August 26, puts a fresh spin on the old classic. Days before it dropped, the 40-year-old pop star reflected on returning to the studio for the new track. “Okie dokie … my first song in 6 years 🎶 !!!! It’s pretty damn cool that I’m singing with one of the most classic men of our time … @eltonofficial 🚀!!!!” she tweeted. “I’m kinda overwhelmed… it’s a big deal to me !!! I’m meditating more 🧘🏼♀️ and learning my space is valuable and precious !!!”
She continued: “I’m learning everyday is a clean slate to try and be a better person and do what makes me happy … yes I choose happiness today. I tell myself every day to let go of the hurt bitterness and try to forgive myself and others to what may have been hurtful. I want to be fearless like when I was younger and not be so scared and fearful. I pray there actually is truth to the Holy Spirit and I hope that spirit is with my children as well !!! Yes … I choose happiness and joy today ☀️ !!!?”
Rumors about the collaboration first surfaced last month, when multiple outlets reported that John, 75, reached out to Spears to record a new version of his 1971 hit. The duo reportedly recorded the song together in Beverly Hills in late July, with Page Six noting at the time that the “Womanizer” singer’s record label was “excited” about the project.
Spears’ friend Paris Hilton later shared her enthusiasm for “Hold Me Closer” during an interview with Paul Barewijk for his show, Paul Voor Je Neus. “It’s gonna be iconic,” the Simple Life alum, 41, gushed on August 2. “I just heard it a couple days ago in Ibiza and it is … it’s insane.”
Before “Hold Me Closer,” Spears had not dropped a new song since her 13-year conservatorship was terminated in November 2021. One month after her legal victory, the “Toxic” songstress revealed that she had decided to stop making music as a “f–k you” to the people who controlled her career. “It didn’t make sense how network television shows are showcasing my music with remixes of all of my music … yet the person who owns the music is told no,” she wrote via Instagram in December 2021. “They even gave remixes to my sister but why was I always told no?”
The Grammy winner continued: “People have no idea the awful things that were done to me personally … and after what I’ve been through, I’m scared of people and the business!!! They really hurt me!!! Not doing music anymore is my way of saying ‘f–k you’ in a sense when it only actually benefits my family by ignoring my real work.”
Earlier this year, the Louisiana native claimed being under the conservatorship “ruined” her experience working in the music industry. “Being a stay-at-home mom not having people do my hair and makeup … waiting and waiting in those dressing rooms with my dad and the weirdest woman ever in every f–king dressing room I was in for 14 years … I look back now and I’m like ‘how did I do that ???'” she wrote in an April Instagram post. “Honestly just the thought of being in the same building as them let alone the same room makes the hair on my arms stand up !!!”
Spears told fans at the time that she didn’t plan on returning to the studio until 2026, which would be a decade after she released her most recent album, Glory. “They’ve ruined the thrill of the business for me 100000% !!!” She wrote. “Let’s make it a 10-year break.”
However, the Crossroads star seemed to change her mind three months later, sharing a video of herself singing “… Baby One More Time” while doing laundry. “This is me yesterday doing laundry and separating clothes…I haven’t shared my voice in an extremely long time…maybe too long,” Spears captioned the clip. “Here’s me playing at my house with a different version of ‘Baby’…the WORD as in WORDS…Show me how you want it to be…tell me baby cause I need to know…give me a f–king sign…HIT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME!!!”
The “Gimme More” performer added that she wanted her fans to know her passion for singing never faded despite her ups and downs in the industry. “I share this because I am aware of my love and passion to sing, and my own family made a fool of me,” she wrote at the time. “I’m not going to be a victim !!!”
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