They’ve teased us for weeks, dropping cute emojis, grinning childhood photos and the promise of a recast '70s favorite.
Britney Spears and Elton John – the oddest musical coupling since, well, Elton John and Dua Lipa – combined their vocals and a pair of John classics for “Hold Me Closer,”
The club thumper meshes John's “Tiny Dancer” and “The One” (from 1971 and 1992, respectively), extrapolating lyrics from both as the song builds from a faint guitar line into a lightly funky dance track.
Sharp-eared listeners will also catch nods to John's 1976 smash with Kiki Dee, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart."
Hazy synthesizers and Auto-Tune color much of the song with John’s skillful piano most prominent during the coda.
The presence of Spears is, of course, the headline here, as it marks her first new release since her 13-year conservatorship ended last November and she married Sam Asghari in June.
On Friday afternoon, the pop star posted a video on social media where she spoke in a British accent from her bathtub as she addressed John about the song's quick success.
John already saw a resurgence of “Tiny Dancer” in 2000, when the sweet ballad was used in an integral singalong scene in Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous.”
The knighted piano maestro has always maintained an affinity for collaborations, although recently he’s been linked to newer artists, such as Lipa, with whom he scored a top 10 hit – his first since 1998 – with “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix).”