9:51 AM PT -- Elton just posted about the track, saying, "I'm thrilled with the response to Hold Me Closer. I wanted to do a fun, happy summer track so was ecstatic when Britney Spears agreed to be a part of it! She truly is an icon, one of the all-time great pop stars & I love her dearly. I hope you all love it!"
Britney Spears has made one of the most remarkable comebacks ever in music ... exactly one year ago she was locked in a contentious conservatorship -- one year later she's shot to the top of the music charts in spectacular fashion.
Britney's collab with Elton John -- "Hold Me Closer" dropped Friday and immediately shot to #1 on iTunes in the U.S. The song is #1 in 35 countries, including England.
Britney shared her feelings about the release on Twitter and said, "Okie dokie … my first song in 6 years 🎶 !!!! It's pretty damn cool that I'm singing with one of the most classic men of our time … @eltonofficial 🚀!!!! I'm kinda overwhelmed… it's a big deal to me !!!"
It's also a brilliant move on Elton's part ... as you know, he released "Cold Heart - PNAU Remix" with Dua Lipa a year ago which was also a monster hit. He's found a way to take some of his amazing songs and put a spin on them with younger artists, and it's clearly working.
Sources with direct knowledge of the process of making "Hold Me Closer" tell TMZ, Britney was "all over the song," heavily involved in the sound and the mixing. There was a little drama during the post-production, but all worked out.
Britney's conservatorship lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, tells TMZ, "It's been a privilege working with her. She's been thorough a lot. Regardless of what comes next for her and what she chooses, I am so very proud of her."