James Corden returned to “The Late Late Show” from his holiday break with a tribute to George Michael, who died at age 53 on Christmas Day.
“I feel like I’ve loved George Michael as long as I’ve loved music in a way,” Corden 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.”
“We all have so much to thank him for, for the music that he’s given that will last forever,” he continued. “But we personally, here at this show, we owe him so much.”
Corden also explained how Michael was the inspiration for what would become “Carpool Karaoke.” The two appeared in a comedy sketch together in England in which Corden starts singing one of Michael’s songs to him while they’re riding in a car together.
Watch the video above.