On Friday, the pair released their much-anticipated duet, Hold Me Closer, which mixes his 1971 hit Tiny Dancer with his 1992 song The One and parts of 1976′s Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.
The track marks the first new music from Britney in six years and her first release since a court judge terminated her 13-year conservatorship that controlled her freedom and finances last November.
Speaking about Britney in an interview with the Guardian, Elton said: “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, 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 on stage and we get the applause, and then we come off stage and we’re back to square one.”
Elton explained Britney had to approve the music, adding: “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 all right.”
The singer added that he hoped the song will “restore her confidence in herself to get back into the studio, make more records, and realise that she is bloody good.”
In an official statement to mark Hold Me Closer’s release, Britney said: “I was so honoured when the incredible Sir Elton John asked me to join him on one his most iconic songs.
“We are so excited for the fans to hear it! Thank you, Elton, for having me! I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to work with you and your legendary mind.”
Elton has previously found success by retooling his hits with other pop stars, including Dua Lipa, who jumped on the Cold Heart remix, which mashed up songs Rocket Man and Sacrifice. The track eventually went on to land Elton his first UK No. 1 single in 16 years.
Britney’s last release was her ninth studio album, Glory, in 2016, which spawned several hit singles, including Make Me and Slumber Party.