The Late Late Show host James Corden paid homage to what was essentially the very first "Carpool Karaoke" ride with late pop legend George Michael, who passed away on Christmas Day. Michael had agreed to do a skit with Corden for Britain's Comic Relief charity, which later became the basis for his wildly popular video segments.

Corden's First Ride With George Michael

It is well known by now that one of the biggest pop stars of recent times, George Michael, died this past Christmas in his home outside of London at the age of 53. As tributes poured in during the following days, it was revealed that Michael had participated in a 2011 sing along car ride sketch with Corden that essentially functioned as the very first "Carpool Karaoke," and we also shared that clip with our readers.

Because of the holiday break, all of the network late night chat shows were in repeats when Michael died and for a while thereafter. When Corden finally returned to host new episodes of The Late Late Show with James Corden, his first order of business was to share the story behind the clip and air it for his millions of TV viewers.

Heartfelt Tribute To Late Pop Star

Corden explained that Michael had agreed to do the segment but wanted to discuss it with him directly by phone from Australia, and how Corden excitedly went to sleep the night before the arranged call knowing he'd be waking up at 3 a.m. to speak with his musical idol.

"I feel like I've loved George Michael as long as I've kind of loved music," a choked up Corden recalled. "I can remember so many specific times in my life where I might've felt on my own, and George's music would feel like you just - 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."

Birth Of "Carpool Karaoke"

While the clip was a prewritten sketch in which Corden played a character and Michael played a caricature of himself, it was the first time Corden was filmed singing with anyone in a car, which has now become his trademark.

Corden revealed that when he and his producers were first pitching the now famous "Carpool Karaoke" segments to potential guests, not many wanted to participate, but that the first ever performer to appear, Mariah Carey, was won over after viewing the clip of Corden and Michael singing together in that very first sketch.

In fact, she declared that she would take the ride because "if it's good enough for George, then it's good enough for me." Ironically, Carey had just returned this Christmas for a "Carpool Karaoke" encore in which she sang her iconic holiday hit "All I Want For Christmas Is You."

You can watch Corden's heartfelt tribute along with the full George Michael segment that inspired "Carpool Karaoke" in the clip below.

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