COLLABS

Britney Spears’s Comeback With Elton John Has Twitter Thinking of High School Musical

Britney Spears and Elton John smiling
Photo by Michael Kovac via Getty Images

Elton John barely had to lift a finger to drum up excitement for “Hold Me Closer,” his new duet marking Britney Spears’s musical comeback, when he unexpectedly teased it at a restaurant in Cannes in the hours before its release. “Hey!,” he said after casually taking the mic from a DJ who’d been jamming to Lykke Li. “Britney Spears! Elton John. Here we go!” You wouldn’t be able to tell from the dance vibes, but for both musicians, the song represents something deep; its premiere puts the allegedly abusive conservatorship that Spears was trapped in for 13 years one step further in the past. “Britney was broken,” John told the Guardian. “I’ve been through that broken feeling and it’s horrible. 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.”

While his words touched many of their fans on Twitter, others used the app to keep their responses to the song light. Since the duo failed to deliver what had the potential to be an iconic music video (though the lyrical one is admittedly a bit fun), some quickly found an alternative. The song pairs uncannily well with the scene in High School Musical 2 that finds Lucas Grabeel and Ashley Tisdale as Troy and Gabriella doing a full-on performance—complete with a soaked piano—in a pool. Funnily enough, Tisdale later said that her costar reminded her of John when he was tickling the ivories à la piscine.

For others, John and Spears called to mind duos from shows like Bad Girls, Coronation Street, and Euphoria. Since Spears has deprived us from hers by suddenly deactivating her Instagram account, enjoy some of their content below.