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Paul had blast with Corden

Paul McCartney was reluctant to drive around Liverpool with chat show host James Corden, but now he feels the Carpool Karaoke special helped get his new album to number one in America.

The former Beatles star instructed his media team to come up with fresh ideas surrounding the publicity for "Egypt Station," and when they suggested a day out with comedian Corden, Macca was a little less than enthusiastic at first.

He ended up agreeing to drive around his native Liverpool with the late night host, singing along to Beatles songs and pointing out Fab Four landmarks. McCartney also met with fans and performed a short set in a city pub.

The footage appeared as part of Corden's The Late Late Show and it was re-edited for an hour-long primetime special, which aired this summer.

"With James Corden, at first I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it, to tell you the truth," McCartney tells Billboard. "And then when I eventually agreed to do it and got into it, and then James' ideas started to come out, like, 'OK, we'll do it in Liverpool and we'll do this ...' I started to think, particularly when I got in the car with him, 'You know, this is fun!'

"I love driving around Liverpool. I love showing off my hometown and saying, 'Oh, you know, that's where we did our first gig, and that's where my brother got married"' I love that. I do that with people even when we're not on a show."

McCartney also performed intimate 'secret' gigs at Abbey Road in London, the Cavern Club in Liverpool and Grand Union Station in New York to promote his new album, which on Sunday became his first U.S. number one since "Tug of War" in 1982.

"I said to my guys, 'I wanna just do a little gig somewhere before we go out on the big tour. Let's do a few little gigs,' " he recalls. "So we started thinking, 'Well, where would we want to go, ideally...?' instead of just saying, 'Oh, we'll go anywhere, it doesn't matter, they're all the same.'

"(We said), 'Let's go to Abbey Road. That'll be fun', 'cause I'll be able to tell stories about having a smoke in the backroom there, you know, and all the little kind of tales you can tell ... And then we went to the Cavern in Liverpool. That particular time was quite nostalgic for me. I was going to all these places I loved, playing little gigs, and oh, incidentally, they were promotion."

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