Carpool Karaoke boosts song sales thanks to Michelle Obama, Missy Elliott

Carpool Karaoke, the music segment from The Late Show with James Corden, is leveraging its cultural cache into boosting sales. The most striking example happened when First Lady Michelle Obama joined Corden in the car and sang along for four songs. Rap icon Missy Elliott had a surprise guest appearance at the end.

“This Song Is For My Girls” had the biggest spike following its appearance on the clip, with digital sales up 1,562% over the previous week. The tune was released by Obama along with Elliott and several other music stars in support of the Let Girls Learn initiative. All proceeds from sales of “This Song Is For My Girls” go toward the Let Girls Learn Fund of the Peace Corps.

The philanthropic track had the biggest boost, but the other songs from the clip also saw bumps after the spot aired. Elliott’s 2001 smash hit “Get Ur Freak On” had a 312% spike in weekly sales and Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” increased 42%. Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” rose 76.5% in weekly streams, according to Nielsen data.

The entire segment with Obama and Elliott made its own splash on the viral circuit. The video had more than 37 million views on YouTube when CNN published its data, and is already up to 38.77 million. Apple Music bought the rights to a new Carpool Karaoke spinoff series late last month.

Anna Washenko