Metro Weekly

Britney Spears’ 10 Best Collaborations

Here's a rundown of Britney Spears' best duets with some of the biggest acts in the music industry and a handful of relative unknowns.

Britney Spears

Several weeks ago, Britney Spears returned to music charts all around the world alongside Sir Elton John on the nostalgic single “Hold Me Closer.”

After debuting close to the top of charts in dozens of countries, it seemed at first like the cut might quickly drop down and disappear, but now, it’s clear that the opposite happened.

The collaborative cut has continued to perform well in many major markets, showing that Spears’ latest didn’t succeed solely because of her name and the story around it, but rather because people are really enjoying it.

“Hold Me Closer” is the latest collaboration in Spears’ discography, which is filled with duets with some of the biggest acts in the music industry and a handful of relative unknowns. Here’s a rundown of the singer’s 10 best collaborations (in alphabetical order).

Hold Me Closer: Britney Spears, Elton John
Hold Me Closer: Britney Spears, Elton John

“(Drop Dead) Beautiful” with Sabi

For perhaps two years, Sabi seemed like she might break out as the next big female pop singer, as she clearly had the institutional support that helps when making a star.

For those who don’t remember the name, she’s perhaps best known for featuring on Cobra Starship’s top 10 smash “You Make Me Feel…,” which remains her only real hit. The same year, she was one of two artists who earned proper collaboration credit on Spears’ Femme Fatale, as she is heard on the album cut “(Drop Dead) Beautiful.”

While the tune did make a small impact on some dance-only charts, it was never released as a single, and shortly afterward, Sabi disappeared from the major label game.

“(I Got That) Boom Boom” with Ying Yang Twins

Spears’ album In The Zone features two collaborations, and they’re both pretty great. One wasn’t released as a single, though it likely could have been, as it had all the makings of a winner. “(I Got That) Boom Boom” features sibling duo the Ying Yang Twins, who were having a moment at the time. It’s a bit silly and extremely catchy, and real fans remember this one.

“Boys” with Pharrell Williams

Produced and written by The Neptunes (also known as Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams), “Boys” owned an odd moment in pop culture. The original version is a solo album cut, while a reworking titled the Co-Ed Remix that features vocals from Williams was doled out as a single from both Britney and the Austin Powers in Goldmember soundtrack. Spears even sings the cut in the film, which should have catapulted it to the top of the charts.

“Hold Me Closer” with Elton John

After Spears spent years fighting her conservatorship, she finally returned with new music in 2022, and she wasn’t alone. John recruited the newly-freed star to mashup and rework his singles “Tiny Dancer,” “The One,” and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” into the electro pleasure “Hold Me Closer.” The tune received mixed reviews, but fans were thrilled to have the singer back, and it instantly became another top 10 hit for both acts all around the world.

“Matches” with Backstreet Boys

Spears stopped promoting her last full-length Glory in 2016 after two singles underperformed, but her label reignited interest in the set in 2020 by sharing a deluxe edition that included several additional cuts. One of those tunes that appeared suddenly four years after the album premiered was “Matches,” a collaboration with fellow ’00s favorite the Backstreet Boys. With two such beloved figures on one cut, the song really should have been a hit. Sadly, it didn’t take off, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a listen.

“Me Against the Music” with Madonna

Spears previewed her fourth album In The Zone with one of the most exciting collaborations of all time between two of the most successful female pop singers. “Me Against the Music” saw makeout partners Spears and Madonna reunite in spectacular fashion. While the single wasn’t a huge hit–it peaked at No. 35 on the Hot 100, a lowly position for two massive stars–nobody can argue it wasn’t a big swing.

“S&M” with Rihanna

Spears’ most recent No. 1 hit, “S&M” wasn’t initially hers, but once she lent her vocals and star power to the smash, it went right to the top of the Hot 100. The cut was initially a success for Rihanna from her groundbreaking album Loud, and hearing the two women croon about the nasty, sometimes violent sex they enjoy was exactly what top 40 pop radio was hoping for back in the beginning of the 2010s decade.

“Scream & Shout” with Will.I.Am

After working with Spears on the song “Big Fat Bass” (which was featured on the album Femme Fatale), WIll.I.Am recruited her for his own solo record. She anchored the single “Scream & Shout,” which bolted to No. 3 on the Hot 100 and remains one of her most memorable collaborations.

The tune brilliantly reuses her “It’s Britney, bitch” from “Gimme More” in a way that helped her move on from a tumultuous time. The Black Eyed Peas frontman landed a number of wins from his own album, but none came close to performing as well as his Spears duet.

“Till the World Ends” with Nicki Minaj and Kesha

Right around the time she scored a No. 1 by jumping onto Rihanna’s already-established “S&M,” Spears used the same marketing tactic to propel her own cut toward the highest reaches of the Hot 100. Second Femme Fatale single “Till the World Ends” was already doing very well when both Nicki Minaj and Kesha hopped on board, and since their version was the most popular for a time, all three women claim the top 10 in their discpgraphies. “Till the World Ends” easily remains a favorite among Spears fanatics and it’s one of the better dance-pop behemoths of the era.

“Tom’s Diner” with Giorgio Moroder

It’s sad that so few people know this song exists, since it’s an incredible cover. Spears apparently was the one who had the idea for Grammy and Oscar winner Giorgio Moroder to produce a reworking of this ’90s classic (originally by Suzanne Vega) with the pop princess adding her own vocal twist on the cut. It’s a standout from Moroder’s Déjà Vu album, which is saying a lot, since that entire collection is spectacular (and similarly underrated).

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