While it’s hard now to imagine Carpool Karaoke as anything other than a major success, James Corden has revealed the show nearly never happened after having his first guest in the passenger seat.
Speaking to radio DJ Howard Stern, Corden revealed that his first ever Carpool Karaoke guest, Mariah Carey, lived up to her diva reputation when he invited her on his show last year.
After turning up with his crew at the superstar’s house, she flat out refused to sing, saying: “Oh, I’m not singing today. We’ll just drive round and have a chat.”
Which was obviously a shame because, well, being Carpool Karaoke, there has to be some musical element involved.
Corden said he had to grin and bear the veteran diva’s request and just did the segment anyway.
I thought, ‘I just have to jump into it. Even if this bit is just me singing to Mariah Carey, it’s still on the show. It may not be the recurring bit we hope it is, but it’s still probably on the show.’
In the final cut of the show, Mariah says: “I’m not singing today, I was up all night,” but eventually joins in with the sing-along – although as little as possible.
But Corden told Stern that it was near-impossible to get stars on board in the beginning, especially as many didn’t know who he was.
If you imagine an artist – just think of any artist in the world – they said no to it. I mean, everyone.
I’m talking, like, who’s the dudes who did Cotton-Eyed Joe? We were in those sorts of territories. And they’re like, ‘I’m not doing that’
Thankfully though, the show has (obviously) picked up and has made for some great entertainment.