Elton John Hopes Duet Will Restore Britney Spears’ Confidence
The singer and songwriter initially connected with producer Andrew Watt on the project. Together, they worked on the song’s structure, remixing the track, adding new instrumental layers and editing John’s original vocals. As they pondered who else could be brought on as a guest singer, John’s husband, David Furnish, chimed in.
“He said it would be wonderful for Britney Spears to do it,” John recalled to The Guardian. “I said, that’s a pretty amazing idea. She hadn’t done anything for so long. I’d been following what’s been happening to her for a long time.”
Spears’ struggles - with her mental health as well as a legal conservatorship held by her father - have been well chronicled. John felt a connection with the pop star, having endured his battles in the past.
“It’s hard when you’re young,” he explained. “Britney was broken. I was broken when I got sober. I was in a terrible place. I’ve been through that broken feeling and it’s horrible. And luckily enough, I’ve been sober for 32 years and it’s the happiest I’ve ever been. Now I’ve got the experience to be able to advise people and help them because I don’t want to see any artists in a dark place. A lot of artists, you’d think they’d have a lot of self-esteem but they don’t, and that’s why we go onstage and we get the applause, and then we come offstage and we’re back to square one.”
To that end, John expressed hope that “Hold Me Closer” could spur Spears to return to making music.
“I’m so excited to be able to do it with her because if it is a big hit, and I think it may be, it will give her so much more confidence than she’s got already and she will realize that people actually love her and care for her and want her to be happy,” he noted. “That’s all anybody in their right mind would want after she went through such a traumatic time.”
John further revealed that he and his team had been “holding [Spears'] hand through the whole process, reassuring her that everything’s gonna be alright.” “She’s been away so long," he explained. "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.
“Rehabilitation is such a wonderful thing for anybody,” John continued. “And I’m just crossing my fingers that this will restore her confidence in herself to get back into the studio, make more records and realize that she is bloody good.”