Whether he’s on his way to work or just rolling through his hometown of London, England, James Corden always makes time for a good ole carpool karaoke.
Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” performances may be what he’s most know for, having had notable talents from Usher, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and more singing along in the passenger seat. “The Late Late Show with James Corden” host credits singer/songwriter George Michael as the inspiration behind the segment, as the late WHAM! singer as his first “Carpool Karaoke” guest when they appeared in the skit back in 2011 for a British charity. In the skit, Michael and Corden sang several songs, which eventually gave Corden the idea to turn it into a portion on his show when the talk show debuted on March 23, 2015.
However, Corden’s first official guest for “Carpool Karaoke” was actually Mariah Carey. The segment gained so much traction and support from fans that it became one of the program’s staples.
Here are the top six “Carpool Karaokes” in no particular order.
Who doesn’t love the today’s hottest Hip Hop group Migos singing and making up adlibs to Neil Diamond classic “Sweet Caroline” and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”? This karaoke session took place in November 2018, four years prior to Migos member Takeoff’s death in November 2022. The entire music group joined host James Corden, and rapped some of their biggest hits, including “Bad and Bougie” and “Motorsport.” They also took Corden on a trip shopping and broke down how they created the trendy viral dance “the dab.”
The 16-time Grammy award winning singer-songwriter hopped in the car with her fellow U.K. native in January 2016 while the two were home in London for the holidays. Adele sang her hit track “Hello,” during which she revealed to Corden that she was the person playing the drums in the background of the song. Corden then told her that he’d always felt that she was the “female Phil Collins.” Adele went on to sing another one of her bops “Someone Like You,” and moved on to sing Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” and Nicki Minaj’s “Monster.”
In March 2016, Jennifer Lopez joined Corden as his passenger, and they kicked their first karaoke song off with J. Lo’s 2001 hit “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” The two discussed the singer-actor’s myriad of nicknames, the rumor that Lopez insured her bottom. The moment transitioned into the Lopez and Iggy Azalea’s song entitled “Booty.” Between singing Lopez’s “Jenny from the Block” and Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven,” Corden grabbed Lopez’s phone, went through her list of celebrity contacts and texted Leonardo DiCaprio.
Corden typically performed his carpool karaoke segments with musical artists, but every now again he invited influential figures. In July 2016, he pulled up to the White House and former First Lady Michelle Obama hopped in for a drive around the grounds. Together they sang Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” and Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” and discussed the Obamas code names for security. (Corden shared how he couldn’t decide between whether he wanted Papa Smurf and Tiramisu as his code name). Obama later shared her reason for starting a Snapchat was to highlight her initiative “Let Girls Learn,” which focuses on promoting and fostering education for women around the world. Toward the end of their trip, Grammy-winner Missy Elliott joined the two and the group all sang Elliott’s longtime classic “Get Your Freak On.”
Korean international super stars BTS packed into a van with James Corden, singing new songs off their album “Map of the Soul: 7,” including “On” and “Black Swan.” Namjoon discussed how he often served a translator for the music group and detailed how he learned English from the hit sitcom “Friends.” This led the car into singing the show’s theme song, but it quickly transitioned into Cardi B and Bruno Mars’ duet “Finesse.” The group went on to share which stars from the States they were most excited to meet, including Madonna, Nas and Post Malone. As their ride came to an end, Corden says he would quit his job to become the eighth member of BTS. The segment ended with Corden auditioning for the group through Corden’s personal dance class.
What would this list be without Corden’s very first guest, Mariah Carey? The five-time Grammy-award winning singer, songwriter and record producer hopped into Corden’s passenger seat in March 2015. Together, they sang her hit song “Always Be My Baby.” After their duet, the American and Brit did their best attempts at swapping accents, with Corden even trying to pull off a New York American accent. Though their drive around Los Angeles only lasted less than six minutes, Corden made it to work with the help of the Hollywood songstress.
“The Late Late Show With James Corden” ended on April 27.