Elton John and Britney Spears are continuing to celebrate the success of their collaboration, “Hold Me Closer,” by unveiling an acoustic version of the track on Friday (Nov. 18).
The stripped down, piano-based version of the song highlights Spears’ vocals and is accompanied by a new music video featuring Olympic Gold Medalist ice skater Nathan Chen.
In the clip, Chen skates to a self-choreographed routine, in a collaboration that was born when, as a lifelong fan, he incorporated some of Elton’s songs into his free skate program in 2019, after his choreographer saw the smash hit movie “Rocket man”. Chen then used an Elton-inspired program for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, where he won gold with his show-stopping performance.
The sports star and his fellow skaters then attended one of the shows on John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Elton gave him a surprise, congratulatory shout-out from the stage.
“Elton John’s music means something to anybody who’s ever listened to it. ‘Rocket Man’ has always intrigued me — it’s otherworldly, but it’s just as much about our lives on Earth, love and loneliness, dreams and disappointments,” Chen said in a press statement. “In a way, ‘Rocket Man’ captures what my own journey has felt like — and getting to skate to it at the Olympics was one of the most special moments of my life. I couldn’t believe it when I heard Elton thought of me for this video. Elton and Britney created something really beautiful with this version of ‘Hold Me Closer’ — and I’m so honored to be a part of it.”
The main version of “Hold Me Closer” entered Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart at No.1, also topping the charts in Australia and Canada, on iTunes in over 40 countries, and reaching No.3 in the UK. Produced by Andrew Watt, it’s based in part on Elton’s classic “Tiny Dancer,” a lyric of which provides its title, but also features elements of other staples of his such as “The One” and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”
Elton’s three-night farewell to Dodger Stadium in New York begins tonight (18). His career-long lyricist partner Bernie Taupin posted a picture of himself on stage with the superstar at his famed 1975 show there, brandishing a baseball bat. “Verified I promise you this will not be repeated!,” he wrote. “It all begins tonight folks.”
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