‘She Is an Amazing Person’

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“Mind Your Business,” the third collaboration between Will.i.am and Britney Spears, is out Friday

<p>Maury Phillips/WireImage, Kevin Mazur/WireImage</p> Will.i.am and Britney Spears

Maury Phillips/WireImage, Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Will.i.am and Britney Spears

Working with Britney Spears felt like old times for Will.i.am.

Calling in from Saint Tropez, France, the Black Eyed Peas frontman opened up to CBS Mornings on Thursday about his latest collaboration with the pop princess — a song titled “Mind Your Business,” out Friday.

It’s the second tune Spears has released since her 13-year conservatorship ended and the third song she and Will.i.am have worked on together, the last being  “Scream & Shout,” from Will.i.am’s 2013 album #willpower. But despite the decade-long distance and all she’s been through, the rapper and record producer told Nate Burleson that the spirit Spears had in the studio was all-too familiar.

“Music is therapy for lots of people; people that make music, people that listen to music. Dancing is therapy for lots of people; people that make music, people that listen to music,” Will.i.am, 48, said. “When you have that connection with music and rhythm and song and melody and harmony and you express yourself through that, it helps you with anything that you’re going through. I see that every time I see her dance on her Instagram, I light up because I see how much she loves music.”

“To collaborate with her now and then, when you’re in the studio and you’re making music, that’s the only thing that matters,” he added. “So I see the same light, the same joy, the same love and passion.”

Asked how the new collab came about, Will.i.am sang Spears’ praises. “I’ve been a fan, a friend, and a supporter of Britney throughout the years,” he said. “A supporter as far as someone who goes out and listens to her music, a supporter as far as someone that’s there to help champion her through her times where she was fighting for her liberation. She is an amazing person.”

Will.i.am. and Spears, 41, first worked together in 2011’s “Big Fat Bass,” which was released on Spears’ album Femme Fatale. He made the surprise announcement of their new song on Monday, uploading a 16-second video teaser to social media that featured their infamous “You are now NOW rocking with will.i.am and Britney, bitch” snippet from “Scream & Shout.”

“UH OH!!!” he wrote in the caption, tagging Spears.

“July 21st is the date… I’m so excited for this release,” he wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “I feel like it’s the first released all over again.”

Related: Will.i.am Teases New Collaboration with Britney Spears on Twitter

As for the song’s title, “Mind Your Business,” Will.i.am hinted on CBS Mornings that the song will be an anthem for fans everywhere wanting a little privacy.

“When you’re in the spotlight, a lot of times you just want to live your life and there’s lyrics in the song that point to that; not just for people that are in the spotlight,” he said. “Even in my verse I say — ‘Hands up in the cookie jar / they watching me, they watching y’a’ll.’ That has to do with privacy and every individual out there who feels like they are not living a private life on social media. There’s a thin line and everyone deserves their version of privacy. [That] is what ‘Mind Your Business’ is.”

Spears last teamed up with Elton John on 2022’s “Hold Me Closer.” The song combined the chorus of John’s 1972 smash “Tiny Dancer” and verses of his 1992 hit single “The One” with fresh, dance-pop production.

Related: Everything to Know About Britney Spears’ New Memoir

She came up with her own ideas. She wanted to speed up the record a little bit, and we did that,” shared “Hold Me Closer” producer Andrew Watt in an interview with Rolling Stone. “She knew exactly what she wanted to do. She had spent tons of time with the record; she knew all the lyrics; it was like, her thing.”

“It was really awesome to witness and see her be so powerful and crush it,” he added. “She sounds incredible on the record, and she was involved all the way up until the final mix.”

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Earlier this month, PEOPLE exclusively announced that Spears would be drooping her new memoir, The Woman in Me, on Oct. 24. The book, a press release from Gallery Books promised, will illuminate “the enduring power of music and love — and the importance of a woman telling her own story, on her own terms.”

“[It is] a brave and astonishingly moving story about freedom, fame, motherhood, survival, faith, and hope.”

CBS Mornings airs weekdays (beginning at 7 a.m. ET) on CBS.

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