James Corden paid an emotional tribute to George Michael on his late night television show, crediting him for inspiring the viral sensation 'Carpool Karaoke'.
The host fought back tears in his first show back after Christmas, explaining how news of the singer's death "hit him really hard".
The 'Last Christmas' singer died at his Oxfordshire home on Christmas Day 2016 (local time). Michael's partner Fadi Fawaz said he found the singer lying "peacefully in bed". George Michael dead at 53
"I feel like I've loved George Michael as long as I've loved music, and I know so many of his fans feel the same," Corden said.
"I can remember so many times in my life when I might have felt on my own, and George's music would feel like he would reach his hand out and tell you that you're not on your own, and that these feelings aren't particular to you."
Corden said the idea for 'Carpool Karaoke' came from a sketch he and Michael collaborated on for Red Nose Day. The sketch includes the pair singing along to Wham!'s 'I'm Your Man'.
"It was the first time I'd sung in a car with anybody," Corden revealed. "It's become quite a big part of my life now, and he inspired it." Corden says Michael encouraged other artists to participate after initially being hesitant.
Mariah Carey was the first to agree after watching the Michael sketch, saying "if it's good enough for George, it's good enough for me", Corden recalls. Corden ended by saying: "George we will miss you so much, we really will."