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James Corden got away with his new “Carpool Karaoke” series with the help of a Hollywood A-lister and some extra brass.
The Late Late Show host’s wildly popular spin-and-sing segment has now jumped to Apple Music with Carpool Karaoke: The Series, which premiered overnight with Will Smith in the passenger seat.
Will Smith is a “Karaoke” producer’s dream. Here’s a guy who works well with others, the camera adores him and he just loves to rip out his hip-hop tunes. And those tunes got a workout in episode one as Smith and Corden blasted “Gettin‘ Jiggy Wit It” and “Boom! Shake the Room.”
So what’s changed with this new show? Well, for starters, Corden clearly has a budget to play with. The British funnyman shows us the money in a sequence where he enlists the help of a marching band to “fill out the sound” of “Gettin‘ Jiggy Wit It.”
The pair also get chatting about Smith’s musical past. He wrote his first rhyme at age 12, we discover, and got his first release at 16 with “Girls Ain’t Nothing but Trouble.” “I had a record on the radio for the last 30 days as a senior,” he recalls, suggesting he pretty much ruled at high school.
And with one particularly random question, we learn that Smith has been asked to play Barack Obama, and that the former president gave his blessing. And then Corden goes for the top drawer with a dig at Wild Wild West.
The entire episode is at applemusic.com/carpoolkaraoke and the first six minutes can be seen below (keep an eye out for a snippet of LeBron James hitting “Maniac” with Corden).
Next week’s episodes (premiering Aug. 15) will feature Alicia Keys and John Legend, plus and Metallica and Billy Eichner.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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