Hold Me Closer, Britney Spears and Elton John’s duet, is officially a smash.
The pop anthem – which is based on the first three lines of Elton’s classic 1971 hit Tiny Dancer – has debuted at number three in the UK and is the country’s most downloaded song of the week.
Britney’s first original song since the termination of her conservatorship, Hold Me Closer has become the highest-charting song for the pop icon since she topped the charts with her will.i.am collaboration, Scream & Shout.
It also marks Elton’s fourth consecutive top five entry in a year, following Cold Heart (with Dua Lipa and Pnau), Merry Christmas (with Ed Sheeran) and Sausage Rolls for Everyone (with Sheeran and LadBaby), all of which reached number one.
In a statement, Elton said it’s “such a thrill” to see how Hold Me Closer is “connecting with fans” around the world.
“Scoring my first Official Number 1 in over a decade with Cold Heart was a wonderful feeling,” he said. “I thought my days of having hit singles were behind me. But to see how much Hold Me Closer means, not only to my fans but Britney and her fans, is beyond words.”
On working with Britney, Elton added: “She’s a wonderful person and artist, and hopefully the reaction to our song has made her feel how loved she is, and she’ll have the confidence to begin the next chapter of her career.”
Elton achieved another significant milestone this week. According to data from the Official Charts Company, the star’s greatest hits collection Diamonds, released in 2017, has finally surpassed one million chart units.
Celebrating the news, Elton continued: “Everything we’ve achieved in the last five years – the book, the film, my tour – has kept my songs out there for younger fans to discover and people returning to it time and time again is really humbling.”
Hold Me Closer has also performed well in countries such as Ireland, debuting in the runner-up position, and Australia, where it skyrocketed to number one. It marks Britney’s sixth chart-topper in the country.
Ahead of its release, Britney told fans via Twitter that she wants to be as “fearless” as she was in her earlier days and “not be so scared”, adding: “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.”
You can listen to Hold Me Closer here or below.