Elton John is very happy about his collaboration with Britney Spears.
Last week, the duo released their instant smash hit “Hold Me Closer”, and in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, he opened up about working with the pop star.
“It seems to have gone off to a really good start,” he said of their collaboration. “And I’m really happy for Britney, especially because having her on this record is such a gas, for start, but this is someone who has been through hell, who needed some love in her life, a lot of love from a lot of people and she’s getting it. And it couldn’t go to a better cause than her at the moment.”
He continued, “And it’s been a really hard time for her over the last few years. And she hadn’t really made any music since 2016, so it’s all about her for me. Life unfolds on an incredible speed and I don’t know what will happen, but I’m so thrilled this is happening because I love the record. I love the fact that it’s ‘Tiny Dancer’ because it’s one of my favourite songs. I’m a lucky man. Listen, what can I say? The record’s taken off. 75 years of age and having the time of my life and it proves that you can still be modern and be old at the same time if you care to take an interest in what’s going on.”
Talking about getting Spears to work with him on the song, John revealed, “I think she was very reticent at first, because I think she was nervous,” but added, “And she did it so well and so easily. And I’m sure a lot of people thought, ‘Well can she still sing?’ Well, I knew for a start that she could sing because if you go back and look at the old footage, she was the biggest artist in the world and she could sing, she could dance, she could do everything. So I wasn’t worried about that. What I was worried about is if she would be so nervous because she hadn’t done it for a while, but she came through it with flying colours.”
John also said he has communicated with Spears since the song’s debut, and that she actually sent him a gift after the release.
“She hasn’t been in the charts for a long time, but she’s warming up, she’s defrosting, as I say, and she’s having a great time,” he said. “And I don’t know when I’m going to see her or when I’m going to talk to her next, but it doesn’t really matter. The more the record does, the more it will help her heal. And she will realize that people are so fond of her and that they have missed her. They feel for her.”
The legendary rock star has a habit of working with younger artists, but he explained why it was a bit different with Spears.
“Well, normally, as you know, I do it with younger people who I really want to work like Yard Act and Rina Sawayama and young people at that, Surfaces, Olly Alexander, the list is endless,” he said. “So I haven’t really worked with anyone like Britney for a long time. My focus is doing something new, SG Lewis. I love working with new people. So working with someone who’s got their own reputation and their own fame is a challenge for me too, because you want it to come out exactly how it should be. And it has. Sometimes that doesn’t happen, sometimes the magic doesn’t happen and she’s put her fairy dust on the record and the magic has happened.”