Elton John Hopes 'Hold Me Closer' Duet Will Restore Britney Spears' Confidence: 'Britney Was Broken'

Before the release of her highly anticipated duet with Elton John, Britney Spears was already getting rave reviews for her vocals.

Two pop royals are reigning supreme -- together. 

Years after her last musical release, Britney Spears is back on our airwaves thanks to "Hold Me Closer," a highly anticipated duet with Elton John and spin-off of his 1971 hit, "Tiny Dancer." While it's racking up hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube, John revealed in a new interview that Spears was apparently hesitant about dropping their finished product. 

"We had to get her to approve what she did,” he told The Guardian. “She’s been away so long – there’s a lot of fear there because she’s been betrayed so many times and she hasn’t really been in the public eye officially for so long. We’ve been holding her hand through the whole process, reassuring her that everything’s gonna be alright."

Not that there was any reason to believe it wouldn't. Both John and producer Andrew Watt had high praise for the singer's preparedness and performance. 

“She sang fantastically,” John said. “Everyone was saying they don’t think she can sing any more. But I said, she was brilliant when she started so I think she can. And she did it, and I was so thrilled with what she did.”

Added Watt, “The song meant so much to her, and you can hear it in her vocal performance. She’s singing her a** off.”

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Plus, the veteran star knew her way around a recording booth. "She’s unbelievable at layering her voice and doubling, which is one of the hardest things to do. She really pushed herself, vocally," Watt described. "Sometimes when you produce, the greatest thing in the world you can do is say nothing, so I just let her do her thing. She’s so good at knowing when she got the right take. She took complete control.”

John is hopeful that the success of the song will give Spears a personal boost after enduring a conservatorship for more than a decade. As he put it, “I’m just crossing my fingers that this will restore her confidence in herself to get back into the studio, make more records, and realize that she is bloody good.”

After all, the famed Rocket Man knows what it's like to be, as he put it, "broken."

“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," he shared. "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.”