We knew this was coming, didn’t we? A couple of nights ago, Ariana Grande and James Corden staged this big, goofy stunt where they performed Titanic as a Broadway musical. You didn’t think that was going to be it, did you? Ariana Grande has her Sweetener album coming out tomorrow. She wasn’t going to miss a golden promotional opportunity, and James Corden wasn’t going to skip a chance to lob dad-jokes at an international pop star.
So: Yes, here it is. Ariana Grande did Carpool Karaoke, Corden’s best-loved bit. The Carpool Karaoke series is usually reserved for people who have been famous for a long time, though Justin Bieber, who is slightly younger than Ariana Grande, has already done it a couple of times. I like to imagine the producers at Corden’s Late Late Show sitting around and debating whether a pop star has reached that Carpool Karaoke stage, sort of like we do at Stereogum when we’re deciding whether an album is going to get Premature Evaluation or not. So Ariana Grande is there.
And in her installment of Carpool Karaoke, she came off as a charming weirdo who didn’t take Corden all that seriously. She sang explosive runs over her own songs rather than singing the songs themselves. She did an eerily accurate impression of Céline Dion and sang a song from Little Shop Of Horrors. She did a bit where James Corden carried her into a Starbucks — piggyback, but I guess that counts — and she told everyone there that this is how she always gets around: “Did you know I demand to be carried everywhere?… If you see me anywhere, it’s because I didn’t walk there, I promise.” Watch it all happen below.
Sweetener is out 8/17 on Republic.