'Carpool Karaoke' has an Emmy and it had to beat out only Beyonce, Adele and Amy Schumer to get it

James Corden. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
James Corden. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

"The Late Late Show With James Corden" has created a viral video hit machine with the recurring feature "Carpool Karaoke," which pairs Corden with the hottest musical celebrities (and First Lady Michelle Obama) and sends them bombing around town while participating in infectiously entertaining sing-alongs.  

And now "Carpool Karaoke" has an Emmy of its very own.

But how?

"Carpool Karaoke" won the Emmy for variety special, thanks to a special prime-time edition that aired March 29. It repackaged some of the segment's greatest hits, including appearances by Adele and Elton John, along with new video from Corden's karaoke session with Jennifer Lopez. 

What's interesting about the "Carpool Karaoke" win is that although material that often amounts to a clip show will often score a nomination in variety special, as the "Best of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Primetime Special" did in 2014, it rarely takes home the prize.

Maybe it was a particularly weak year for the category?

Maybe. But let's look at the other nominees.

Adele. (Sascha Steinbach / Getty Images)
Adele. (Sascha Steinbach / Getty Images)

"Adele Live in New York City"

Adele, one of the most popular performers in the world (so much so that her "Carpool Karaoke" segment with Corden has scored over 127 million views on YouTube), aired a concert on NBC in December that was recorded from a November performance at Radio City Music Hall in New York. 

Amy Schumer. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Amy Schumer. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

"Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo"

Amy Schumer has an Emmy-winning TV series with "Inside Amy Schumer," a bestselling book with "The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo" and an October HBO comedy special directed by Chris Rock and recorded at the Apollo Theater.

Beyoncé and performers from "Lemonade." (Parkwood Entertainment)
Beyoncé and performers from "Lemonade." (Parkwood Entertainment)

"Lemonade"

"Lemonade" was a visually audacious one-hour film aired by HBO and served as an accompaniment to global superstar Beyoncé's album of the same name. The film was a mystery until it aired on April 23, at which point it launched the album and Beyoncé's subsequent world tour. 

Aretha Franklin. (Molly Riley/AFP/Getty Images)
Aretha Franklin. (Molly Riley/AFP/Getty Images)

"The Kennedy Center Honors"

"The Kennedy Center Honors" which s regularly nominated for variety special, and often wins, was particularly notable this year, due in large part to a incandescent performance by living legend Aretha Franklin, who performed the soul classic "(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman" to honor songwriter Carole King, one of the night's nominees.

So what gave "Carpool Karaoke" the edge it needed to defeat such a formidable list of foes? It's impossible to say. Maybe it was just the right feel-good hit at the right time. Either way, check out Corden crooning with Lopez below and marvel at the Emmy goodness.

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