James Corden pays touching tribute to George Michael, and thanks him for first ever Carpool Karaoke

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Emily Badiozzaman

George Michael was an OG in many ways – pioneer of blow dried hair, mainstreaming effeminate style and ruling as a musical powerhouse.

He can also add first star in the passenger seat on James Corden’s now infamous Carpool Karaoke skit to his CV. In character as his Gavin and Stacey character Smithy, Corden drove George Michael to the BBC buildings in a Comic Relief sketch for Red Nose Day way back in 2011.

Sure, it’s not exactly up to his other accolades but it had an impact on Corden, who now spends much of his career belting out tunes with their creators in a car. 

The host used the first five minutes on the newest episode of The Late, Late Show to share his experience with the superstar and pay tribute to him following his death on Christmas Day.

He tells of that one time when he spoke to George Michael at 3am for an hour to convince him to do the original sketch, and that other time that Mariah Carey was like “well, if it’s good enough for George…”

But he also touches on what George Michael’s music meant, and there wasn’t a (careless) whisper in the house.

Watch his touching tribute and the very first Carpool Karaoke below:


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Emily Badiozzaman

Emily is a freelance writer for Shortlist.com. She covers breaking news, entertainment, style and lifestyle for the site. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found eating and drinking or thinking about food and drinking. Follow Emily on Twitter: @ebadiozzaman 

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