Elton John has revealed the heartbreaking reason Britney Spears had 'fear' over the release of their new song, Hold Me Closer, following the US singer's lengthy hiatus from music.
The British legend has made a massive resurgence in the headlines this week following the debut of his first-ever song with the American pop sensation – and he's now spilling all the details on the journey to getting there.
Elton John confirmed his collaboration with Britney earlier this month, taking to Twitter to tease fans with a link to pre-save the duo's upcoming new track, Hold Me Closer.
A mashup of the 75-year-old's iconic 1971 hit, Tiny Dancer, and his 1992 ballad, The One, the feel-good song marks the Toxic singer's official return to the studio after an eight-year-long hiatus. It also sees Britney, who was freed from her controversial conservatorship in November, work outside of her father Jamie Spears' control for the first time in 13 years.
Understandably, this rekindled relationship with showbiz after such a lengthy break hasn't been easy for the 40-year-old musician.
In a new interview with the Guardian, Elton spoke candidly about Britney's nerves over recording new material – and the touching gesture he made to calm the US superstar down.
"We had to get her to approve what she did," he revealed. "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."
Aside from keeping her Instagram followers updated with regular posts, the Oops, I Did It Again singer has been mostly reclusive for the past few years. Her last live show took place during her Las Vegas residency in 2017, when she performed for a final time for fans before retreating from the spotlight altogether.
"We’ve been holding her hand through the whole process, reassuring her that everything’s gonna be alright," Elton explained.
Luckily, Britney didn't struggle too much when it came to getting back in the swing of things. Andrew Watt, the music producer behind Britney's recorded vocals on Hold Me Closer, has since hailed his positive experience of working with the pop legend.
"She was so prepared," he told the Guardian. "She had spent time with the record and knew how she wanted to do it.
"She’s unbelievable at layering her voice and doubling, which is one of the hardest things to do. She really pushed herself, vocally. Sometimes when you produce, the greatest thing in the world you can do is say nothing, so I just let her do her thing. She’s so good at knowing when she got the right take. She took complete control."
Elton was also quick to commend Britney's performance, gushing that she sang "fantastically" on the track.
"Everyone was saying they don’t think she can sing anymore," he said. "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."
Emma is a Lifestyle News Writer for woman&home. Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, she mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.
Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.
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