ENTERTAINMENT

James Corden Remembers George Michael, The First-Ever 'Carpool Karaoke' Star

“The Late Late Show” host mourns the musician, who was "always ahead of his time."

James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” is a runaway success with fans and celebrities alike.  

What many don’t know is that pop star George Michael, who died on Sunday at the age of 53, was Corden’s first-ever partner in the schtick ― way before it was even on “The Late Late Show” from when Corden took over as host in 2015.

The debut of the winning partnerships that would later feature star turns from A-listers including AdeleMariah Carey, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Elton John and Michelle Obama, began in 2011 as a charity skit.

In the sketch for the British anti-poverty charity Comic Relief, Corden, in character as Smithy from his BBC sitcom “Gavin & Stacey,” cheers up Michael as they belt out Wham! songs.

“There was something very joyful about it,” Corden later told Stephen Colbert about that first car-ride singalong. “We wondered if it was an idea ... Los Angeles, traffic, car pool lanes, Karaoke, traffic, driving people in the car, singing.”

On Sunday, Corden joined many celebrities in mourning the passing of the musician, calling him an “absolute inspiration.”

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