By now, James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke sequences have basically taken over the world.
Now that they’ve done it so many times, they have all the kinks and conventions completely worked out. By now, it’s immediately clear that the celebrities and singers are completely in on the joke and it’s fully arranged what’s going to happen in the clip. Still, at the beginning of the segment, it wasn’t clear exactly how it would work or how it would be received by audiences. Despite that, they still had some incredible guests from the very beginning.
For those reasons, we’re going to take you back to one of the first Carpool Karaoke’s ever with Jennifer Hudson!
For anyone who doesn’t know, Hudson is famous for her work on American Idol and her Oscar-winning role in Dreamgirls.
Beyond that, she’s also been a judge on the UK and US versions of The Voice. Though it goes without saying, Hudson has a truly incredible voice of her own that is practically unparalleled in our time. She has one of the most powerful voices in the past decade, there’s no doubt about that.
For that reason, Corden’s team knew she would be perfect for one of these early karaoke segments. As the clip begins, Corden calls her because she seems to be running late. When she finally makes it outside, he asks if he can put the radio on. Of course, if you’re a fan of the segment – you know what’s about to happen next!
As it turns out, it’s one of her songs!
Hudson seems genuinely surprised and asks Corden to see what he’s got when it comes to singing.
Without missing a beat, Corden starts into the rapping part of the song and Hudson seems impressed. Before long, it’s her turn to sing—and she does it beautifully! Corden clearly made a great decision to bring this songstress on Carpool Karaoke!
After that, Corden says he really needs to stop to get some food before he goes to work. Little did he know, this was just an invitation for Jennifer to belt it out even more. As he’s ordering, Hudson starts singing everything he says to the cashier.
Although her voice is incredible as always, it’s also hilarious!
Before long, Corden is joining in and belting out his order as well!
As they’re talking about Hudson’s background, Corden plays another one of Hudson’s old songs—and she seems surprised once again… but she’s still not done with the fast food jokes! Not only is she talented but she clearly has a great sense of humor too!
Eventually, Hudson starts singing her tune incredibly—and Corden does the harmonies much to her surprise! As they pass a tour bus, Hudson sticks her head out the window and yells at them.
Still, the clip isn’t quite over yet.
To wrap things up, Corden and Hudson do a duet to the iconic “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls.
Although the song was originally sung by Jennifer Holliday, Hudson’s voice is so powerful that it practically eclipses it! Though anyone who has seen the movie knows just how incredible her voice is, this song is a perfect reminder. One of the best songs from a movie soundtrack for sure.
The notes that she’s able to hit without almost any effort show why people hold Hudson in such high regard.
By the end of it, Hudson hits a run that is so impressive that Corden has to put a hand over his mouth.
To hit the final note of the song, they both take a huge breath and belt as loud as they can!
Like we said earlier, Carpool Karaoke has established itself as a cultural mainstay at this point. Still, it was the success of some of the earliest versions like this one that helped to catapult it to where it is now!
Although we all know Jennifer Hudson from her television and movie work, it’s easy to forget just how incredible of an artist she is. For those reasons, we have to give a special thank you to Corden and to Hudson herself for reminding us. Thanks for such an incredible and hilarious performance!
Watch the full clip below and be sure to check out the audition that landed Jennifer Hudson in the spotlight.
Jennifer Hudson first got her start when she auditioned for season 3 of American Idol back in 2004. And even though she wasn’t the winner (Fantasia Barrino won that season), it was still the catalyst for her career.
Check out the original audition that put her on the map in the video below.
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