So sad. James Corden paid tribute to the late George Michael on the Jan. 3 episode of his show, ‘The Late Late Show’ — his very first in 2017. ‘I’ll miss you George Michael,’ James said before admitting the late pop icon actually inspired his now famous ‘Carpool Karaoke’ segments.
“I went back to London over Christmas and had the best time. But there was some really sad news over Christmas that hit me really hard…the passing away of George Michael,” James Corden told his audience on Jan. 3.
“George was…I feel like I’ve loved George Michael as long as I’ve kind of loved music, in a way, and I know so many of his fans feel the same. Like sometimes, 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 he just…it 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. And it really hit me and I think it hit me a bit harder because I was lucky enough back in 2011 to meet George and spend some time with him,” he added.
James explained that his “Carpool Karaoke” segment wouldn’t exist without George. In fact, George was the very first person to ever participate.
“He very kindly agreed to do a sketch for Comic Relief, which is a huge charity in the U.K. on a big day called Red Nose Day. I wanted George to be in this sketch with me,” James recalled. “We called his management and we called the label. I’ll never ever forget it, but they said, ‘George would like to talk to you about this himself. But he’s in Australia, so he’s going to ring you, but when he calls you, it’ll be 3 a.m. in London.’ It was the weirdest feeling going to bed thinking, ‘When I wake up, it’s going to be because George Michael is on the phone and I’m going to talk to him about this sketch.’ We chatted for an hour, and we talked about music.”
“It was the first time I’d ever sung in a car with anybody. It’s become quite a big part of my life now, and he really inspired it,” James revealed. “When we started the [Late Late] show here, we were trying to get people to do ‘Carpool Karaoke,’ and not many artists wanted to do it. We would send them this clip of me and George, and we went it to Mariah Carey, and she was the first person to say yes. Her words were, ‘If it’s good enough for George, then it’s good enough for me. I’ll do it.’ So, we all have so much to thank him for, for the music that he’s given that will last forever. But we personally, here at this show, we owe him so much.”
To watch James’ tribute, as well as his very first episode of “Carpool Karaoke” with George Michael, click on the video above!
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