Lizzo whips out a virtuosic 19th-century flute solo in Carpool Karaoke sketch with James Corden

29 June 2022, 16:14 | Updated: 29 June 2022, 16:58

Lizzo plays a virtuosic flute solo on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke.
Lizzo plays a virtuosic flute solo on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke. Picture: The Late Late Show

By Siena Linton

The queen of flute-pop has done it again with her most impressive flute performance yet.

Since her debut on the global music charts in 2019, American singer, rapper and songwriter Lizzo has taken the internet by storm with her mantras of positivity, self-love and acceptance, as well as championing the flute on some of the world’s biggest stages.

Most recently, in June 2022, Lizzo appeared on Carpool Karaoke with comedian and presenter James Corden, as part of The Late Late Show. Corden surprised Lizzo with a flute, which he procured from the back seat of the car after asking her how long she’d been playing.

A shocked Lizzo looked the flute up and down, quickly pointing out that it had ‘closed holes’ and was a “beginner’s flute”. The metal keys on a flute can either be ‘open’ (where the middle part of the key is hollow) or ‘closed’ (where it is filled in), and often many advanced and professional flutes are built with open holes, to allow for greater control over tone and tuning, as well as making more advanced flute techniques possible.

Read more: ‘Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich make me feel alive’ – hip-hop star Lizzo

Lizzo plays flute on carpool karaoke with James Corden

Almost without hesitation, Lizzo brings the instrument to her lips and effortlessly fires off a rapid flurry of demi-semiquavers from Giulio Briccialdi’s Carnival of Venice. The 19th-century flute piece switches rapidly between octaves, requiring an impressive amount of versatility in the performer’s embouchure and diaphragm support. A feat which Lizzo, of course, carries out with ease.

Watch Lizzo’s Carpool Karaoke episode in full here >

This isn’t the first time Lizzo has wowed us with her classical performances. In May, she debuted her ornate golden flute, the ‘Dryad’s Touch’, with a stunning rendition of Doppler’s Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy that showcased her rich tone and controlled vibrato.

And just a matter of weeks later, she brought the steps of the Met Gala to an awed hush as she performed the opening bars of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune.

There was also a skit on Saturday Night Live, where she joined an orchestra to perform Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, the ‘Choral’. Or at least, she tried to, before hilariously encouraging the orchestra of fellow comedians to “pop their booty for Beethoven”.

Jokes aside, this is Lizzo’s most virtuosic performance yet, and we can’t wait to see more of her fluting. Classical album in 2023, anyone?