The singer-songwriter posted a video of the performance Tuesday on Instagram. The clip, tagged at La Guerite in Cannes, opens with John introducing the track: “Britney Spears, Elton John — here we go,” he says, as a DJ plays the electro-pop cut. John sings his verses over pulsating synth-bass, building to a chorus where Spears handles the hook from his 1971 classic “Tiny Dancer.”
Watch the video below.
Before the video ends, John teases the single release of Aug. 26. He previously mentioned that date in a recent Instagram post featuring what appears to be the song’s artwork, which shows childhood photos of the two singers. “[The song] was Elton’s idea, and Britney is a huge fan,” an unnamed source said in July. “They have recorded a remix of ‘Tiny Dancer’ as a full duet — and it is incredible.”
Both in sound and substance, “Hold Me Closer” recalls John’s sleek duet with Dua Lipa, “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix),” which interpolates songs from multiple John eras, including 1972’s “Rocket Man.” That single, his first U.K. chart-topper in 16 years, appeared on John’s 2021 album, The Lockdown Sessions, which also features collaborations with Eddie Vedder, Stevie Nicks and Stevie Wonder, among others.
In June, John performed — alongside Queen, Rod Stewart and Duran Duran — at Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Concert. Meanwhile, his long-running Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, which continues on Sept. 7 in Toronto, is currently scheduled to run into 2023.
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