Watch James Corden Say How George Michael Inspired 'Carpool Karaoke' - Rolling Stone
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Watch James Corden Say How George Michael Inspired ‘Carpool Karaoke’

‘Late Late Show’ host reflected on how 2011 Comic Relief sketch with pop icon spawned viral sensation

James Corden honored the late George Michael on Tuesday’s Late Late Show, explaining how the singer’s comedic chops inspired the viral sensation, “Carpool Karaoke.”

The roots of “Carpool Karaoke” extend back to Comic Relief’s 2011 Red Nose Day special. During one sketch, Corden attempts to save the day by driving Michael to the event. After the comedic actor offends the singer, the two bury the hatchet by singing along to Wham’s “I’m Your Man.”

Corden explained many artists were hesitant to participate in “Carpool Karaoke.” But Mariah Carey became the first to agree after watching the Michael clip, which the show used as a blueprint to pitch the concept. “If it’s good enough for George, it’s good enough for me,” Corden recalled her saying.

The host also reflected on how Michael’s music pulled him through trying times. “I feel like I’ve loved George Michael as long as I’ve loved music in a way,” he said. “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’d listen to a song and he would reach his hand out and tell you you weren’t on your own and these feelings were not particular to you.”

Michael died on Christmas Day from apparent heart failure at age 53. 

George Michael’s partner Fadi Fawaz details finding the late pop star’s body Christmas day.


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