Elton John Says Britney Spears Is “Warming Up” After Their Duet’s Success

Plus, the “Rocket Man” singer revealed Spears’ “fabulous” thank-you gift.

Britney Spears and Elton John's duet, "Hold Me Closer," will "will help [Spears] heal," the "Tiny Da...
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One week after the release of Britney Spears and Elton John’s duet, “Hold Me Closer,” both musicians are still celebrating the song’s success. “Thank you to my fans for making my song number one for a week now,” Spears wrote on Instagram, referencing the track’s No. 1 status on iTunes. And John, for his part, considers himself “a lucky man.”

“Seventy-five years of age and having the time of my life and it proves that you can still be modern and be old at the same time if you care to take an interest in what’s going on,” John told Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe on Sept. 1.

But as John explained, he’s less focused on himself — and more on his duet partner. “I’m really happy for Britney, especially because having her on this record is such a gas, for start, but this is someone who has been through hell, who needed some love in her life, a lot of love from a lot of people and she’s getting it ... It’s all about her,” he said, pointing out that “Hold Me Closer” is Spears’ first new music in six years.

The legendary “Rocket Man” singer seemed to speculate about Spears’ future, too. “She hasn’t been in the charts for a long time, but she’s warming up, she’s defrosting, as I say, and she’s having a great time,” John said. “And I don’t know when I’m going to see her or when I’m going to talk to her next, but it doesn’t really matter. The more the record does, the more it will help her heal.”

Though Spears and John haven’t connected IRL since “Hold Me Closer” dropped, they have been in touch via email — and at least one very sweet thank-you gift. On Sept. 2, John took to Instagram to share a photo of rocket-shaped salt and pepper shakers that Spears sent him and his husband, David Furnish. He described them as “fabulous,” noting that they both “love them.”

It was originally Furnish’s idea for the duet to happen in the first place, John recently told The Guardian. “He said it would be wonderful for Britney Spears to do it,” John recalled. “I said, ‘That’s a pretty amazing idea.’ She hadn’t done anything for so long. I’d been following what’s been happening to her for a long time.”

Though “Hold Me Closer” marks the musicians’ first professional collaboration, their friendship goes back nearly a decade. Spears and John first connected at the Elton John Aids Foundation Oscars Viewing Party in 2013, according to The Guardian.