More than a week has passed since the world lost George Michael on Dec. 25, but the tributes haven’t stopped.
While many stars spent time remembering the iconic singer shortly after his sudden passing, James Corden hadn’t gotten the proper chance to honor Michael as The Late Late Show was on a holiday break. So when the show returned on Tuesday (Jan. 3), Corden delivered quite the eulogy.
“I feel like I’ve loved George Michael as long as I’ve kind of loved music, in a way,” Corden told his viewers. “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 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.”
The Late Late Show host went on to discuss the time that he met Michael in 2011, when the two did a sketch together for the UK charity Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day that ultimately inspired Corden’s mega-popular “Carpool Karaoke” segments. As it turns out, Michael was the sole reason that Mariah Carey agreed to be Corden’s first subject for the bit — making the late singer even more meaningful to Corden.
“We all have so much to thank him for, for the music that he’s given that will last forever,” Corden continued. “But we personally — here at this show, we owe him so much.”
Watch Corden’s heartfelt tribute to Michael (as well as their Carpool Karaoke together) below: