Talk show host James Corden paid tribute to George Michael on Tuesday by sharing the story of how the singer inspired Carpool Karaoke, the
Corden revealed that the death of the pop icon hit him "harder" after they teamed up for the sketch in 2011 for charity Comic Relief, which went on to inspire the successful segment.
The 38-year-old English comedian returned from holiday hiatus and told his audience that the loss of the musician on Christmas Day had been a personal tragedy for him.
"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," he told his audience.
"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."
Looking emotional he explained: '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.
Although Carpool Karaoke has become a phenomenon with Elton John, Adele and Michelle Obama just a few of the big names to have joined the English comedian for a sing-a-long ride in his car, James explained that the segment wouldn't exist without George Michael.
"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."
Corden added: 'I felt very privileged to be able to tell him how much his music meant to me.'
Appearing as his character Smithy, from sit-com Gavin & Stacey, James cajoled a surly George into singing one of his biggest hits to try and save Red Nose Day.
"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," he 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."
In the clip, the pair playfully argued before busting out in song, which happened to be Wham's 1986 hit, I'm Your Man.
Corden was one of the thousands to immediately pay tribute to the Faith singer, who died of suspected heart failure.
Michael sold more than 100 million albums throughout his career, which spanned almost four decades. He was found dead at his London home aged 53 on Christmas Day 2016.