James Corden's popular "Carpool Karaoke" segment might never have hit the road had Mariah Carey not opted in.
The Late Late Show host has admitted his signature series -- in which he takes famous musicians for a spin and a singalong -- had been rejected by a string of stars and was struggling to get into first gear. And then Carey buckled in.
"Before Mariah Carey said yes, no one would do it," the British presenter told Entertainment Weekly. "If I told you the people that turned it down before Mariah Carey said yes, you'd be like...;you'd understand why they'd say no. It's a weird ask."
Weird ask or not, "Carpool Karaoke" has been a huge hit for CBS' late night variety program and a seemingly endless lineup of A-listers are getting into Corden's passenger seat. One Direction, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Stevie Wonder,Jennifer Hudson, Sia and Justin Bieber are just some of the stars who have taken a ride with Corden. Adele's carpool stint with Corden aired in January and has surpassed 87 million views, making it the most watched late-night YouTube clip ever.
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James Corden shares his 'Carpool Karaoke' wishlist
James Corden seen arriving at the BRIT Awards 2013 at the o2 Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, in London. (Photo by Jon Furniss Photography/Invision/AP)
FILE - This June 25, 2014 file photo shows James Corden at the New York premiere of "Begin Again" in New York. Corden may be stepping in for outgoing CBS host Craig Ferguson. Corden "appears to be in contention" to take over "The Late Late Show," according to an industry source who spoke Tuesday, Aug. 5, on the condition of anonymity because that person wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations. CBS declined to comment. Scottish-born Craig Ferguson has hosted "The Late Late Show" since 2005. In April he announced he would be leaving at year's end. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
Actors Keira Knightley and James Corden laugh as they are interviewed on the rooftop of picturehouse cinemas in central London during a photo call for the film Begin Again, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
James Corden accepts the award for Comedy and Comedy Entertainment Programme for A League Of Their Own with Aaron Paul and Jamie Redknapp at the Arqiva BAFTA Television Awards at The Theatre Royal in London on Sunday, May 18, 2014. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision /AP Images)
Actor James Corden arrives at the premiere of "One Chance" on day 5 of the Toronto International Film Festival at the Winter Garden Theatre on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, in Toronto. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)
Director John Carney, left, and James Corden attend the "Begin Again" premiere after party at the Bowery Hotel on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
James Corden seen on stage during the BRIT Awards 2013 at the o2 Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, in London. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Dave Grohl, left, and James Corden seen during the BRIT Awards 2013 at the o2 Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, in London. (Photo by John Marshall/Invision/AP)
Emeli Sande, left, and James Corden seen during the BRIT Awards 2013 at the o2 Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, in London. (Photo by John Marshall/Invision/AP)
James Corden holds his award for "One Man, Two Guvnors" at the 66th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday June 10, 2012, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini /Invision/AP)
From left, Adele makes a speech as she receives album of the year and the show's host, actor James Corden, cut off Adele's second acceptance speech, during the Brit Awards 2012 at the O2 Arena in London, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
James Corden at the Brit Awards 2012 at The O2 Arena in London, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/John Marshall JME) THIS CONTENT IS IS NOT PART OF ANY SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE AND ANY USAGE WILL CARRY A SEPARATE FEE
James Corden hosts the Brit Awards 2012 at the O2 Arena in London, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
Actor James Corden with partner Julia Carey arrives for the BAFTA Film Awards 2012, at The Royal Opera House in London, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Hosts, Australian singer Kylie Minogue, centre, and British actors James Corden, left, and Matthew Horne, right, perform at the Brit Awards 2009 at Earls Court exhibition centre in London, England, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009. (AP Photo/MJ Kim)
James Corden arrives for the Brit Awards 2011 at The O2 Arena in London, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 20: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) James Corden, David Walliams and Rob Brydon attend the closing night of 'Monty Python Live (Mostly)' at The O2 Arena on July 20, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02: James Corden and Mark Ruffalo attends a Meet The Cast event for 'Begin Again' at Apple Store, Regent Street on July 2, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 25: Actors James Corden, Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine attend the 'Begin Again' premiere at SVA Theater on June 25, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 18: James Corden arrives at the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards after party held at the Grosvenor house, Park Lane on May 18, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Niki Nikolova/FilmMagic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Host James Corden presents The BRIT Awards 2014 at 02 Arena on February 19, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Matt Kent/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 17: Suki Waterhouse, Bradley Cooper, Julia Carey, James Corden and Anna Wintour attend the TOM FORD show at London Fashion Week AW14 at The Lindley Hall on February 17, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Nick Harvey/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 17: (L to R) James Corden, Anna Wintour and Bradley Cooper attend the TOM FORD show at London Fashion Week AW14 at The Lindley Hall on February 17, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 22: Chris Pine and James Corden at the Groucho club on October 22, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robert Milan/FilmMagic)
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The viral sensation drives like such a dream, Corden and his executive producer Ben Winston are said to be out shopping an original series centered on "Carpool Karaoke" to SVOD and cable buyers.
In his chat with EW, Corden also discussed his nerves "trying to harmonize with some of the best singers in the world" and he raised the curtain on some of the most memorable "karaoke" sessions (Stevie Wonder's memorable session, he revealed, was shot over two-and-a-half enthusiastic hours).
And Corden made it clear that he's aiming high for his talent lineup to come. "We want everybody to come and do our show. I mean, specifically...Beyonce, Prince, Bruno Mars. It's all the same people everyone would want on the show. We've got a couple of 'carpools' lined up which I hope people would like."