Britney Spears has released her first new music since the end of her conservatorship – with the pop star exclaiming that “it’s pretty damn cool” and “overwhelming” to be singing again – and with global music industry superpower Sir Elton John.
The single – Hold Me Closer – is the 40-year-old American pop star’s first single in six years and is a mash-up remix of some of Sir Elton’s songs.
The much anticipated duet mixes his 1971 hit Tiny Dancer with his 1992 song The One, while parts of Don’t Go Breaking My Heart from 1976 also feature in the track.
Spears tweeted: 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 !!!! I’m kinda overwhelmed… it’s a big deal to me !!! I’m meditating more and learning my space is valuable and precious !!!
“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!!!
“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.”
In an official statement, Spears thanked Sir Elton for “the opportunity to work with you and your legendary mind”, adding: “We are so excited for the fans to hear it!”
Spears was famously released from her conservatorship – that controlled almost every aspect of her life and finances for more than 13 years – in November 2021 following a court ruling.
The legal agreement had been put in place in 2008 after the star was said to have suffered from mental health problems.
Her father Jamie Spears had been largely in control since then.
He stopped managing his daughter’s personal affairs in 2019 but stayed in charge of her finances, until he was removed by the judge earlier this year.
As she was fighting the controversial legal arrangement towards the end, she said she would not return to making music while her father was in charge.
Earlier this week, Sir Elton teased the single with a “sneak peek” video clip of a DJ playing the track at La Guerite beach restaurant, in Cannes, France.
Sir Elton, 75, told The Guardian the idea to work with Spears – who he said had to approve the music – came from his husband, David Furnish.
“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,” he said.
“We’ve been holding her hand through the whole process, reassuring her that everything’s gonna be all right.”
Despite a judge ending the guardianship, the legal battle over her father’s alleged misconduct while the order was in place continues.
Spears married fitness trainer and model Sam Asghari, 28, at their home in Los Angeles in June, in a small ceremony attended by celebrity guests including Madonna and Selena Gomez.
Earlier in August, her first husband Jason Alexander – whom she wed in Las Vegas in 2004 before the marriage was annulled just 55 hours later – was convicted of trespassing after appearing uninvited at her home on the day of her wedding.
The singer has two children, Sean and Jayden, with her second husband Kevin Federline.