When the new Britney Spears single drops on Friday, it will be the first music the singer has released in six years—to the day. Spears’ most recent album, her ninth, Glory, came out on August 26, 2016. And the time since, which included a high-profile emancipation from her conservatorship, has been tumultuous, to put it mildly. A musical comeback is the move, and Spears teamed up with Elton John for assistance.
John, looking very much the grande dame of pop that he is, recently unveiled their long-teased collaboration, “Hold Me Closer,” for patrons at the Cannes spot La Guérite. This was livestreamed and then uploaded to John’s Instagram:
The rub? John sang over most of the track as he played it in public. A shorter but clearer preview of the song more recently uploaded reveals an update of John’s “Tiny Dancer” with vocals by Spears merely dusted over the hook. It sure sounds like a hit...namely, the 2021 hit John had with Dua Lipa, “Cold Heart,” which interpolated past John hits like “Rocket Man” and “Sacrifice.” John also recently revealed the apparent single cover on his Instagram:
Meanwhile, Spears posted this:
Good luck to all involved parties in this new/old endeavor in pop music.
Good luck to all of us, for that matter as the biggest music news story of the last 24 hours involves an AI rapper named FN Meka being dropped from Capitol Records after conjuring racist stereotypes and saying the N-word in its music. The project’s effective mastermind, Anthony Martini, said in an interview last year that to power the Meka project, his team had “developed a proprietary AI technology that analyzes certain popular songs of a specified genre and generates recommendations for the various elements of song construction: lyrical content, chords, melody, tempo, sounds, etc. We then combine these elements to create the song.” Dystopia: now in aesthetic form!
Genius did some pecking around last year and suggested the human (for now) voice behind Meka belongs to a non-Black man, though Martini told the New York Times “’he’s a Black guy’ — and ‘not this malicious plan of white executives. It’s literally no different from managing a human artist, except that it’s digital.’” Got it!
Something tells me that despite the cut major-label ties, this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing from FN Meka. What a world!
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- Usher says he’s the King of R&B. Whitney Houston is rolling in her grave: That was the title she bestowed upon her-then husband Bobby Brown. [Page Six]
- The anonymous woman suing Horatio Sanz for sexual assault asked the court permission to add SNL alums Jimmy Fallon and Tracy Morgan, as well as Lorne Michaels, as defendants to her lawsuit, alleging that they enabled Sanz. [Variety]
- Megan thee Stallion is requesting $1 million in relief from her record company, which has pushed back over whether her releases constituted albums and applied to her contract. The very nature of what makes an album is at the center of this legal battle. Existential! [People]
- Ladies and gentlemen, he is not floating in space: John Boyega confirms he will not be returning to the Star Wars franchise. [Indiewire]
- This is just a great headline: “Brooklyn Beckham films himself making homemade pizza - but fans think it looks ‘undercooked’” [Mirror]