John confirmed the news via Instagram on Monday (Aug. 8), with a photo of the new song title, “Hold Me Closer,” against a pink backdrop and accompanied by a rocket and a rose emoji. The rocket, of course, is in reference to the “Rocketman” himself, and the rose is a tribute to Spears’ frequent use of the flower emoji.
At the time of publication, Spears has yet to share anything about the collaboration on her social media pages. “Hold Me Closer” is available to pre-save here.
“Tiny Dancer,” originally included as part of John’s 1971 album Madman Across the Water, was released as a single in 1972 and peaked at No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has grown in stature through the years and is now regarded as one of Elton’s prime classics. In 2000, the song was famously featured in a sing-along bus scene in Cameron Crowe’s film Almost Famous.
“Hold Me Closer” is the pop princess’ first new music since her 2016 studio album Glory, which also included deluxe tracks “Mood Ring,” “Swimming in the Stars” and the Backstreet Boys-assisted “Matches” that were released in 2020. Most notably, the collaboration will mark Spears’ official return to music since the end of her 13-year conservatorship.
Spears recently implied that she may be interested in making music again — this time, as a free woman — when she took to Instagram in July to share two videos of her singing her breakthrough 1998 hit song “…Baby One More Time” a cappella with some more adult lyrics, swapping out “give me a sign” in the chorus with “give me a f—ing sign.”
“This is me yesterday doing laundry and separating clothes … I haven’t shared my voice in an extremely long time … maybe too long … and here’s me playing at my house with a different version of ‘Baby,’” she wrote. “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—ing sign … HIT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME !!!’ Well I have asked for what I wanted for 14 years … a different version of ‘Baby’ but have the producers actually work for me and put it together.”