James Corden and his The Late Late Show team couldn’t have known the gift they were giving us when they first came up with the concept for Carpool Karaoke. Starting with a 2011 sketch with Corden and the late George Michael, way before Corden took over at The Late Late Show, Carpool Karaoke has become a worldwide platform for artists of all stripes to shine.
In 2017, Carpool Karaoke launched as a spinoff series through Apple Music. Throughout this year, across its two incarnations, we have all been witness to candid moments with music royalty such as Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles, Miley Cyrus and more.
Here are 10 of this year’s best moments in Corden’s car.
10. Usher teaches Corden how to properly enter the club
Usher oozes cool, and Corden wanted to take advantage of that during their time together. They had to start out by singing Ursh’s 2004 smash “Yeah!” Following that, Corden asked for pointers the next time he enters the club. The two hopped out of the car in the nearest parking lot, and Usher did his best to teach Corden the proper walk to announce your presence in a club.
9. The whole Cyrus family crams into a car
As part of Apple’s Carpool Karaoke spinoff, the whole Cyrus family went on their own ride: Miley, Billy Ray, Trace, Noah and Tish. The musical family sang Billy Ray’s “Achy Breaky Heart” while wearing mullets, before belting along to Trace’s band Metro Station’s hit “Shake It.”
8. Miley Cyrus helps Corden lick stamps
It was a “Party in The U.S.A.” when Miley Cyrus took her solo turn in Corden’s car. After singing Cyrus’ 2009 anthem, Corden enlisted the Younger singer’s unusually long tongue to help him get a few of his stamps ready for mail.
7. Bruno Mars and James Corden compare wardrobes
Nobody has style quite like Bruno Mars — let’s set that straight first. We all know it, even Corden, who made his point by trying on hats that look ridiculous on him but fashionable on Mars.
As far as the silky shirt Mars wore for their ride, Corden commented, “You seem like you’re in a great mood… If I was wearing that level of silk, I would be happy as well. If I could just dress like that all day every day, I would just be over the moon… If I wore that, I’d look like I was having breakdown.”
6. Ed Sheeran brings his acoustic guitar to the passenger’s seat and crams Maltesers in his mouth
From the looks of this episode, taking a road trip with Ed Sheeran would be a dream. Sheeran brought along his acoustic guitar to jam with Corden in real life, rather than just through the radio. But for a little bit, Sheeran was unable to sing as he stuffed 55 Maltesers in his mouth.
5. Kelly Clarkson’s date night
James Corden has always seemed like a nice guy, and with Kelly Clarkson’s Carpool Karaoke segment, he took it as an opportunity to give the “Meaning of Life” singer a chance to spend quality time with her husband, Brandon. Corden placed Kelly and Brandon in the backseat with a rose on the armrest in the middle. And of course, it wouldn’t be date night without champagne.
4. Harry Styles and Corden recite lines from Titanic and Notting Hill
James Corden and One Direction go way back, and the familiarity between Harry Styles and The Late Late Show host was apparent during Styles’ first ever solo Carpool Karaoke ride. Of course, there was singing involved: Styles’ own “Sign of the Times” and “Sweet Creature” kicked things off, before the duo launched into OutKast’s “Hey Ya” and Lionel Richie’s “Endless Love” duet with Diana Ross.
But the real highlight came when Styles and Corden recited famous lines from films Titanic and Notting Hill, as Styles undestandably wondered, “Why do I always have to be Julia Roberts?”
3. Steph Curry belts Disney hits
The only non-musician on this list, Golden State Warriors superstar point guard and two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry belted with the best of them during his ride with Corden. Being a father of two young girls, Curry is very familiar with Disney soundtracks, and Corden and Curry sang with all their might on duets of “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana and “Love Is an Open Door” from Frozen.
Sam Smith joined Corden in the car shortly before his sophomore album, The Thrill Of It All, arrived on Nov. 3. Throughout the drive, Smith divulged that he would like a “funeral for my single self before my wedding” and sang his songs “Too Good at Goodbyes,” “Lay Me Down,” “I’m Not the Only One” and “Money on My Mind” before getting the surprise of a lifetime: Corden prompted Smith by asking him about his love for Fifth Harmony, and while Smith gushed about his devotion, Fifth Harmony hopped in the backseat, much to the solo star’s delight.
1. Posthumous episode of Chester Bennington
Less than a week before Linkin Park’s frontman Chester Bennington died by suicide, he filmed an episode with his bandmates and comedian Ken Jeong for Apple’s Carpool Karaoke spin-off. Usually, Apple Music makes these episodes exclusive but an exception was made for this one so anybody who wanted to could watch. Before the episode began, a message occupied the screen: “With the blessing of Chester’s family and his bandmates, we share this episode and dedicate it to the memory of Chester. This was taped July 14, 2017.” (Bennington died on July 20.)
In the episode, Bennington was driving the car while a smile spreads across his entire face. His charming and charismatic personality was on display as the group sang Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” and other hits.