How Mariah Carey Launched, And Almost Ended, James Corden’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’

James Corden is speaking out about how Mariah Carey launched, and then almost ended, The Late Late Show with James Corden’s wildly popular segment, “Carpool Karaoke.”

Corden spoke out about Mariah and the very first “Carpool Karaoke” in a new interview about the phenomenon on The Howard Stern Show, where he revealed that Mariah initially refused to sing when she first got in the car with the host and comedian in March 2015.

Speaking out about the first time he attempted to execute a “Carpool Karaoke” segment, the Late Late Show host revealed that he asked a slew of artists to take part in the segment prior to the concept hitting it big, all of whom turned them down.

“If you imagine an artist — just think of any artist in the world — they said no to it. I mean, everyone,” Corden revealed of the difficulty of getting artists to take part before Carey agreed to appear in the sketch. “I’m talking, like, who’s the dudes who did ‘Cotton Eye Joe’? We were in those sorts of territories. And they’re like, ‘I’m not doing that.'”

According to James, Mariah finally agreed to appear on the show after a “chance meeting” between himself and one of Mariah’s representatives from her record label, joking that he “s*** himself” when he found out that Carey had agreed to take part.

But despite Mariah signing on the dotted line to appear on the very first “Carpool Karaoke,” James admitted on the radio show that once Carey turned up for the shoot she told him that she wasn’t actually going to sing.

“Then she came out and said, ‘I’m not singing today,'” Corden told Howard Stern of Carey during the June 6 interview, “And she went, ‘We’ll just drive around and have a chat.'”

Best. Carpool. Ever. A huge thanks to @mariahcarey for joining us for our first ever #CarpoolKaraoke session! #Corden

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James then confessed that he did all he could to convince Mariah to show off her world-famous voice on the segment, revealing that he told Carey at the time, “‘We call it Carpool Karaoke, so without that…’ And then I thought, I just have to jump into it,” Corden said.

“Even if this bit is just me singing to Mariah Carey, it’s still on the show,” James continued after finding out that Carey wasn’t in the mood to belt out any of her hits.

“It may not be the recurring bit we hope it is, but it’s still probably on the series,” the Late Late Show with James Corden host added.

But fortunately for James, who also came up with the “Carpool Karaoke” concept himself, Mariah did eventually cave in to sing a little karaoke in the carpool lane during the late night sketch.

Is it just is or were sparks flying during #CarpoolKaraoke with @mariahcarey? #LateLateShow

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“To her credit, she got involved and it was wonderful,” James said of the very first “Carpool Karaoke” with Mariah in the interview, where the superstar sang along to a number of her biggest hits, including “Always Be My Baby” and “Vision of Love,” after initially telling James, “I’m not signing today! I was up all night!”

Mariah Carey’s edition of “Carpool Karaoke” has since been viewed more than 24 million times on YouTube, while her lead has been followed by fellow huge musical names, including Adele, Jennifer Lopez, and Stevie Wonder, who have since filmed their own “Carpool Karaoke” segments.

James previously revealed that he still has a number of stars still on his wish list to star on “Carpool Karaoke” in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, teasing that there are still a slew of big names still to take part in the popular segment.

“We’ve got a couple of Carpool Karaoke’s lined up which I hope people will like,” James admitted back in March. “We want everybody to come and do our show, but of course, Beyoncé, [and] Bruno Mars.”

What do you think of James Corden’s confessions about Mariah Carey’s “Carpool Karaoke”?

[Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images and Mark Davis/Getty Images for Screen Actors Guild Foundation]