Sir Elton John has opened up about working with Britney Spears on new single Hold Me Closer, explaining he sympathises with her troubles because he’s “been broken too”.

The single dropped today (August 26) and shot straight to the number one spot in 35 countries, including England.

Celebrating the release, Elton posted on Instagram: “I’m thrilled with the response to Hold Me Closer! I wanted to do a fun, happy summer track so was ecstatic when Britney agreed to be a part of this song! She truly is an icon, one of the all-time great pop stars and I love her dearly. I hope you all love it!”

22nd Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party - Inside
Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for EJAF

And Britney spoke out about it yesterday, writing on Twitter: “Okie dokie … my first song in 6 years!!!! It’s pretty damn cool that I’m singing with one of the most classic men of our time … @eltonofficial!!!! I’m kinda overwhelmed… it’s a big deal to me !!! I’m meditating more and learning my space is valuable and precious !!!”

She also deactivated her Instagram account.

And in the meantime, Elton has spoken about why he wanted to work with Britney, who was recently freed from her 13-year conservatorship.

Elton says he’s been “broken too”

Speaking to The Guardian, he said: “It’s hard when you’re young. 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.”

He added that musicians shout “enjoy what they’re doing” and that they “deserve to be happy and to be loved”.

What the fans are saying

The fact the single has shot straight to the top of the charts in numerous countries speaks volumes.

21st Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party - Inside
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for EJAF

And on social media, people are gushing about how much they love it.

One fan told Elton: “Thank you so much for bring Britney back to music Thank you for this amazing song! I’m listening it on repeat.”

“Icons,” another labeled the duo.

While another penned: “What a bop, an incredible song and so happy for you Britney!”

And one begged for more, writing: “Love it! Thank you for giving her this opportunity to return to music! Looking forward to more from both of y’all (and maybe a music video???)”

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