Ever since James Corden announced that Carpool Karaoke would become its own Apple Music series, he’s held off on airing his most viral segment on The Late Late Show. But he made an exception Thursday night just to help Harry Styles promote his new album, Harry Styles. (And also because Apple Music has delayed the series premiere indefinitely, but shhhh.)
The segment gave Styles the chance to introduce his new, adult persona to an audience that still thinks of him as the floppy-haired moppet from One Direction, and he grabbed at it with both hands. Adult Harry Styles is down! Adult Harry Styles will have none of your toxic masculinity. Adult Harry Styles will break out surprisingly competent Julia Roberts and Kate Winslet impressions when asked, and he will cheerfully admit that his favorite movie is The Notebook and his go-to karaoke song is “Endless Love.”
The resulting clip is a seamless fit with his woke bae persona, the one that recently had Styles passionately defend his teenage girl fan base to Rolling Stone, saying, “Teenage-girl fans — they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.” In the same interview, Styles told Rolling Stone that wanted to name his eponymous album Pink, because “pink is the only true rock & roll color.” He’s a heartthrob beloved of young women across the world, and dammit, he wants you to know that he loves and respects women and femininity. He’s not quite at the gender-bending pyrotechnics of his heroes Bowie and Prince, but he’s on his way.