Elton John has made a career out of defying expectations, penning hits and working with all of the right people to become the international phenomenon that he is today. At 75-years-old, the pop legend isn’t showing any signs of stopping his streak of top-tier collaborations.
On Friday (Aug. 26), John unveiled his latest duet, this time with pop superstar Britney Spears, on “Hold Me Closer.” A modernized, dance-influenced new take on the star’s 1971 smash-hit “Tiny Dancer” as well as 1992’s “The One,” the new song produced by Andrew Watt takes the both of John’s past works and bumps them up to 11 — Spears’s piercing vocals add some drama to the grooving dance-pop vibes being constructed on this scintillating new single.
“Hold Me Closer” follows in the tradition of John’s latest ventures. Back in August 2021, John released “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)” featuring Dua Lipa and Australian production trio PNAU. The track revamped four of John’s past songs, including the chorus of “Rocket Man,” and became a ubiquitous commercial success for the star; after a strong start at radio, “Cold Heart” slowly climbed up the Hot 100, reaching its peak at No. 7 in January 2022. John even made history after “Cold Heart” entered the top 40 of the chart, earning the longest span of top 40 hits on the chart with a whopping 50 years and 10 months.
But even before “Cold Heart” and “Hold Me Closer,” John already established himself as a world-class collaborator; he’s even released two albums-worth of collaborations to date (1993’s Duets and 2021’s The Lockdown Sessions) To celebrate the superstar’s latest pairing with Spears, Billboard took a look through the icon’s discography and picked out the 20 best collaborations from John’s career.