WATCH: George Michael Rides With James Corden In An Early Version Of 'Carpool Karaoke'
Music fans everywhere suffered another blow this week with the passing of pop icon George Michael on Christmas Day at the age of 53.
While Michael's accomplishments as a pop star secured his legacy in the music industry, he also left an indelible mark on TV land as funnyman James Corden's very first celebrity guest for a precursor of "Carpool Karaoke."
The Makings Of A Smash Hit
In 2011, long before Corden took over the reins of The Late Late Show from Craig Ferguson, he was asked to do a sketch for the British charity Comic Relief. He was paired with Michael, who had just announced that he was releasing his cover version of the song "True Faith" by New Order to benefit the charity's telethon.
The sketch started simple enough with Corden driving around London in his car and getting a call from fellow British comic Lenny Henry.
Henry wanted to ask if Corden could lend him a hand at Comic Relief. Corden turned him down because he had to spend the day with his "mate" who had been away for a while. When Henry told him that he really needed his help, Corden reluctantly agreed.
After hanging up the phone, Corden's friend asked him who it was, after which the camera revealed that his "mate" was actually Michael.
The pop superstar asked if he could come with Corden to the Comic Relief event, but the TV host refused. Before Corden could explain himself, Michael accused him of not wanting to bring him along because he was gay.
Corden replied that the reason why he couldn't go to Comic Relief with Michael was because he was a "joke," which saddened the singer.
To cheer his mate up, Corden turned on the radio to listen to Wham!'s smash hit "I'm Your Man." This caused the two to hilariously sing along to the music all the way to the Comic Relief meetup.
After the meeting, Corden went back to see his friend Michael in the car. They then drove off singing to some more Wham! music.
The three-and-a-half-minute sketch went on to inspire Corden's popular segment on The Late Late Show, "Carpool Karaoke." Corden has since had other celebrities, such as Adele, Sia, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, and even U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, hop in the ride and sing along with him.
Paying Tribute To His Mate
After finding out about George Michael's death on Sunday, Corden paid tribute to his friend through Twitter.
The comedian and TV host wrote that he had loved the pop superstar for as long as he could remember. He said that Michael was an absolute inspiration and that he had always been ahead of his time.
Watch George Michael and James Corden in the very first version of the hit "Carpool Karaoke":