NEWS

James Corden Pays Tribute to George Michael, Who Helped Inspire 'Carpool Karaoke'

by Zach Seemayer 8:45 PM PST, December 26, 2016
Playing James Corden Pays Tribute to George Michael, Who Helped Inspire 'Carpool Karaoke'

George Michael gave the world some of its greatest pop tunes, and it turns out he might also be responsible for one of the best late night comedy segment as well: "Carpool Karaoke."

As James Corden explained while sitting down with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show earlier this year, the popular segment originated from a sketch he created for the British charity Comic Relief back in 2011, years before he started hosting the Late Late Show.

In the sketch, Corden -- who was playing his character from the British sitcom Gavin & Stacey -- drove around with the former Wham! star as they sang some of Michael's most famous hits.

WATCH: Elton John, Ricky Gervais and More Pay Tribute to George Michael

While the prototype for what would become "Carpool Karaoke" was scripted, much shorter and way more (hilariously) insulting than what it would evolve into, the potential of the musical comedy goldmine was evident from the start.

When Michael died on Christmas Day, Corden was one of many celebrities who took to social media to share emotional tributes to the late singer, writing, "I've loved George Michael for as long as I can remember. He was an absolute inspiration. Always ahead of his time."

WATCH: George Michael's Wham! Bandmate, Andrew Ridgeley, Remembers the Late Singer

Corden also shared a video of Michael singing his 1990 single "Praying for Time," writing, "George Michael wrote Praying for Time 25 years ago but I truly believe it's message means more now than ever."

When Corden invited Carrie Underwood to join him in the passenger seat for a great "Carpool Karaoke" segment back in December 2015, the pair ended the ride with an amazing rendition of the Wham! classic "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" after Underwood proudly admitted that she knew the lyrics to every Wham! song ever.

Underwood also paid tribute to Michael on Sunday, sharing a photo of the singer along with a heartfelt message about how much he inspired her to become a singer.

WATCH: George Michael's Ex-Partner Kenny Goss Releases Statement on Singer's Death as Fans Gather to Pay Tribute

"I never told him (mainly because I thought I'd freak him out) but #georgemichael has always been such an influence on me," the country star wrote. "As a child, his was the first voice I could pick out of the sea of voices I heard on the radio. Before I knew anything about him, I knew his voice. As an adult, I cried when I saw him in concert. His songs and his voice helped to teach me how to sing. I will forever regret not letting him know...Thank you, George, for giving the world your gifts...may you rest in peace."

Michael died on Christmas Day at the age of 53. The singer’s U.S. manager confirmed to ET that he died of heart failure and had not previously been sick. According to his boyfriend, Fadi Fawaz, Michael died "peacefully in bed." For more on the iconic singer's life and legacy, watch the video below.

SHARE ON FACEBOOK SHARE SHARE ON TWITTER TWEET