Shortly after news of singer George Michael's death broke on Christmas, the internet unearthed his 2011 appearance in a Comic Relief sketch with James Corden that would eventually inspire the talk show host's popular Carpool Karaoke segment.
On Tuesday night, during his first Late Late Show since Michael's death, Corden took a few moments to share just how much the star meant to him, personally and professionally, in an emotional and heartfelt tribute. "I feel like I've loved George Michael as long as I've kind of loved music, in a way," he began. "I can remember so many specific times in my life where I might have felt on my own, and ... 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."
Corden also shared a bit of backstory behind that first Carpool Karaoke sketch, before which he and Michael spoke on the phone for an hour working out the details. The resulting clip was instrumental years later in getting new stars to agree to the segment. "We would send them this clip of me and George, and we sent it to Mariah Carey, and she was the first person to say yes, and her words were, 'If it's good enough for George, then it's good enough for me. I'll do it.' "