James Corden has penned a touching tribute to late musician George Michael and thanked him for inspiring the incredibly popular segment, Carpool Karaoke, on his late-night television show.
In his first episode back after the Christmas break, Corden told the Late Late Show audience Michael’s death had hit him “really hard” and described being inspired by the Faith singer’s music at various times during his life.
“I feel like I’ve loved George Michael as long as I’ve kind of loved music,” an emotional Corden said.
I can remember so many specific times in my life where I might have felt on my own, and George’s music would feel like … you would listen to a song and he would reach his hand out and tell you that you weren’t on your own and that these feelings were not particular to you.”
Michael passed away on Christmas Day last year aged 53.
Corden fondly recalled how the WHAM! singer had helped inspire the idea for Carpool Karaoke – which has featured appearances by Adele, Madonna and Michelle Obama – during a charity event in 2011.
The segment, which features celebrities singing alongside Corden in the passenger seat of his car, was born out of the 2011 Red Nose Day sketch in which Michael and Corden sing a duet while driving the singer to an event.
Watch the video below:
“It was the first time I’d sung in a car with anybody,” Corden revealed.”It’s become quite a big part of my life now, and he inspired it.”
Corden said Mariah Carey, the first major celebrity to appear on the segment, had been persuaded after watching the sketch.
“If it’s good enough for George, it’s good enough for me,” Carey reportedly said.