Los Angeles: Britney Spears' new single, Hold It Against Me was released a day ahead of schedule on Monday, getting extensive radio play and an early thumbs up from fans and critics.
An early version of the dance club track was leaked online last week, and Spears told her fans via Twitter to wait for the final cut, which made its way onto airwaves a day ahead of its scheduled launch at midnight on Tuesday.
Hold It Against Me is the first single from the pop princess in more than a year and the initial release from Spears' new album, due out in March.
The release of the new song follows a drama-free year for Spears after her 2009 hit album Circus, which marked the singer's musical comeback after a year-long personal and career meltdown.
"Don't #HOLDITAGAINSTME for coming out early. I couldn't wait any longer. Hope you don't mind, " Spears, 29, said on her official Facebook site.
Tommy Chuck, programme director at Florida radio station 93.3 WFLZ, told MTV.com that the station had been playing the single every hour on Monday.
"The reaction has been great. Both on Facebook and Twitter, people are glad Britney's back; (they're) thanking us for playing the song, telling us how amazing she is, and all the air staff loved it. It's a solid single, and it'll be a big hit for her," Chuck said.
Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton said enthusiastically that "we think it sounds like a smash!!!!!!!"
Most fans seemed to agree.
"I just died and went to music heaven!!!! Thanks britney!! It was time for this ur going to have the song of the year 2011 is yours baby!!!" said Fernando, in a comment on the singer's official website.
Spears released her first album in 1999 and went on to become a worldwide phenomenon.
She has since sold more than 100 million albums worldwide and was ranked by Forbes in 2010 as the sixth most powerful and influential celebrity in the world.