John Legend & James Corden's Summer Song Riff-Off Was So Epic

by Jamie LeeLo

I stan James Corden. I really, really do. He has all the qualities of some of my favorite people. He's funny as hell, kind AF, not afraid of anything (like making the Kardashians eat nasty sh*t on his show), and has a voice like an angel. That said — why would the man ever, ever challenge John Legend to a sing-off? The video of John Legend and James Corden's "Songs of the Summer Riff-Off" is fun, but it's also like, come on James... what did you think was going to happen?

One of Corden's most famous segments of all time is his Carpool Karaoke series. There, he invites your favorite musicians and singers to go for a drive with him while they jam out to said artist's famous tunes. In the past, fans have watched Corden surprise Adele with his range and match Sam Smith note for note. The man has pipes, but John Legend has literal angels living inside of his vocal cords. There's just no comparing, James.

So, when Corden set up the lengthy segment for Legend to join him on The Late Late Show set to compete, I couldn't help but feel a little bit like, "Oh no." To make things worse, Corden set up the segment as a ballad/bop face-off, meaning Legend would sing ballads and Corden would sing bops. (James, Legend's whole thing is ballads! Why are you playing to his strengths, dude?!)

Oh yeah, the Philharmonic showed up, too.

Corden set up the segment by explaining he loves nothing more than listening to summer jams in his car with the windows down. Alas, he feels this summer has been full of love ballads and "some guy on his guitar crying about his girlfriend." This cued John Legend's entrance. Legend came out explaining he felt "attacked" which is what prompted their battle. Corden went first and opened up with arguably the best bop of the summer, "Sucker" by The Jonas Brothers.

He did... just fine. Legend followed up with "I Swear" by All-4-One which was exactly as swoon-worthy as it sounds.

In a plot twist, Corden whipped out some Billie Eilish next, singing a verse from "Bad Guy" where he sang the famous lyrics "might seduce your Dad," which Legend refused to let go. (Ha. Ha.) You might think this would prompt some sort of creative and unexpected tune from Legend, but no. He stuck to the classics. Legend then sang "All Of Me" which has yet to get old despite the millions of weddings it's been played at since it came out.

It's kind of a no-brainer who won this riff-off, but in a delightful ending, Corden and Legend combined their powers to sing a gorgeous duet of the song "Someone You Loved" by Lewis Capaldi. Here, I feel Corden really had a chance to shine and his voice combined with Legend's had, like, a really nice payoff?

I don't know. You guys tell me what your big takeaway is here.

Let's be real... Legend wins, right?

James, you're number one in my heart but John is number one on my playlist.