Britney Spears won’t be making a cameo on Robbie Williams’ upcoming Christmas album, but it’s not for his lack of trying. The 45-year-old Take That alum recently revealed that Britney was his No. 1 pick for a cover of the Pogues’ Christmas classic, “Fairytale of New York,” for his 2019 holiday album The Christmas Present.
Williams talked about his dream collaboration for his new Christmas record during a new interview with Vice as he explained why he scrapped plans to cover the 1987 Pogues song.
“I wanted to do it with Britney Spears, but she’s not working, unfortunately,” the British singer-songwriter told the magazine.
The original song featured the Pogues with Kirsty MacColl and a music video that had actor Matt Dillon playing a police officer who drags lead singer Shane MacGowan to the jail’s drunk tank. A music video starring Britney would have been a pop music fan’s dream come true and would have given the Irish-style folk hit some much-needed attention in the U.S. However, it never came to fruition due to the “Baby One More Time” singer’s recent personal issues.
Fans know that Britney recently announced that she is taking time off from work, including her Las Vegas residency, to focus on her family and other personal issues after noting that she has been working since she was just 8-years-old. While she hinted that she was making a transition to a new phase in her life, Britney can currently be seen on Instagram playing with her puppies among other things.
Although Williams was unable to nail down an on-hiatus Britney for a Christmastime duet, he did work with big-name musicians such as Rod Stewart (“Fairytales”) and Bryan Adams (“Christmas, Baby Please Come Home”) on The Christmas Present.
In the Vice interview, Williams noted he has been working on The Christmas Present for three years. It’s too bad he didn’t snag Britney before her self-imposed work hiatus.
“I’ve put a lot of time and effort into getting it right,” Williams said of the album.
Like Williams, Britney has not released a new album in more than three years. Britney’s last studio album, Glory, dropped in 2016.
Britney Spears fans have long hoped she would record a full album of holiday hits. In 2000, the then-teen pop singer released “My Only Wish (This Year)” for the compilation album Platinum Christmas. Other stars on the Jive Records compilation included NSYNC, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys, and TLC.