Hold me closer, Britney Spears?
Some six years after she last released newly recorded music, Spears is back in the studio recording music with Elton John, according to reports in Page Six and TMZ — and it will be a brand-new recording of John’s 1971 song, “Tiny Dancer,” which took on a new life after it was featured in Cameron Crowe’s 2000 film, “Almost Famous.”
According to the reports, Spears met with John last week in a Beverly Hills recording studio for a new version of the song, according to Page Six, and says the track is set to be released by Universal Music next month. Grammy-winning producer Andrew Watt, who has worked with everyone from Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber to Pearl Jam and Ozzy Osbourne, is reported to be overseeing the session.
Elton has seen big success this year with re-recorded duets of his past hits: He and Dua Lipa scored a hit with “Cold, Cold Heart,” a mashup of his hits “Rocket Man” and “Sacrifice” that has featured in both of their concerts, with video footage of the other — on one night during the spring, she performed it at Madison Square Garden while he performed it just a few miles away, across the East River at Brooklyn’s Barclays Arena.
Spears’ attorney, reps for John and both artists’ labels did not immediately respond to Variety‘s requests for comment.
The collaboration would mark Spears’ first return to making music since her conservatorship was terminated in November 2021.
Spears was under a conservatorship for more than 13 years. After her bombshell testimony last summer, she retained her own lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, who helped her get out of the legal arrangement within the matter of months. First, her father, Jamie Spears, who oversaw her conservatorship, was suspended by the court in September 2021. And then, her conservatorship was terminated altogether in November. However, the legal battle remains messy with Spears fighting against her father and former business manager, Tri Star Sports & Entertainment, over her finances and allegations of abusive behavior throughout the conservatorship. (The next hearing in the case is this Wednesday.)
While she was under her conservatorship from 2008 through 2021, Spears recorded new music, went on tour and held a Las Vegas residency. However, when she testified in court, the singer said she was forced to work against her own will. Typically, conservatees are unable to work, so Spears’ situation was highly unusual. And her lawyer has said that her father reaped millions from her hard-earned work during the 13 years, when she said she did not want to go on tour.
The news of Spears’ collaboration with John will certainly come as a welcome surprise to Spears’ millions of fans around the world. Ever since her newfound freedom, Spears fans have been wondering if she’d want to get back in the studio and return to the stage — but first and foremost, the #FreeBritney movement has stood behind the star’s decision to live her own life however she chooses, new music or not. This summer, Spears married her longtime boyfriend, actor Sam Asghari, and has expressed her desire to have a family with him.
Spears frequently dances and sings on her Instagram where she regularly interacts with her fans, and earlier this month, she made headlines when she belted out a powerful a capella rendition of her mega-hit “Baby One More Time.”