This July, in a small basement studio in Beverly Hills surrounded by candles, colored lights, keyboards and in the company of her new husband Sam Asghari, Britney Spears resumed her music career. Six years after her last album and nine months since she was freed from the conservatorship that had led to her father Jamie administering her money and making decisions on her behalf for a full 13 years, Britney is back to life and art thanks to fellow artist Elton John, who chose to engage her remotely-John is currently at his home in the South of France – in a duet to the tune of Hold Me Closer, which mixes the 1971 song Tiny Dancer along with 1992's The One. "She sang fantastically," Elton John commented, joining in the warmth of the fans who flocked to social media with the hashtag #WelcomeBackBritney, happy to see their darling free, in wonderful shape, ready to pick up the threads of her career again after the years in which she still recorded music and toured while not being free of her choices.
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The anticipation of the public looking forward to welcoming her back was immediately felt: within hours of its release, Hold Me Closer had, in fact, skyrocketed to the top of iTunes sales in 29 countries, proving that despite the bitter legal battle she waged against Jamie Spears and the Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group that managed her interests, Spears is still in better shape than ever. "No one should be surprised that her comeback is a smashing success. As I have always said, Britney is a brilliant artist as well as an icon. It has been a privilege to work with her. She has been through a lot, and regardless of what comes next for her and the things she chooses, I am very proud of her," Mathew Rosengart, the lawyer who represented her in court, commented to Variety. Also proud of her is, of course, Elton John, who chose by mutual agreement with her husband David Furnish to allow Britney Spears to get back on her feet after the hell she has been through.
"I had been following what was happening to her for a long time," recounted John, who got to meet Britney in person at an Oscars party in 2013. "The song meant so much to her, and you could feel that by hearing her performance. It was like no time had passed since the last time she went into a studio," Andrew Watt, producer of the song, added to The Guardian. This is not the first time Elton John has tried to help artists get back on their feet from the difficulties in their personal lives-think George Michael, Robbie Williams, and Geri Halliwell – and the same applied to Britney Spears: "It's hard when you're young. Britney was devastated. Just like I was devastated when I got sober. Now I have the experience to be able to counsel people and help them because I don't want to see artists in a dark place. Looking at them, you would think that many of them have great self-esteem, but they don't. That's why we go on stage, get the applause, and then once we get off, we go back to where we started." What saves, however, is always the music, and who knows that after Hold Me Closer Britney Spears, an artist with more than 100 million records sold and numerous #1 albums and singles on the Billboard charts, will pick up where she left off.