James Corden: We owe George Michael so much

Updated: 

James Corden has paid an emotional tribute to George Michael on The Late Late show.

The TV host, 38, appeared close to tears as he told the audience, in his first show following the Christmas break, just how much the ex-Wham! star meant to him.

James said the news of the star's death on Christmas Day hit him "really hard".

James Corden
James Corden (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

"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," he 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."

George Michael (Chris Radburn/PA)
George Michael (Chris Radburn/PA)

James also told how the pop star helped make Carpool Karaoke the massive success it is today.

The pop star was the first celebrity to appear in a Carpool Karaoke-type skit, in 2011, in a sketch for Comic Relief.

"He really inspired it," James said of George's stint on Carpool Karaoke, which has since had stars such as Michelle Obama, Madonna and Adele as guests.

George Michael death.
George Michael's house (Ben Stevens/PA)

"When we started the show here we were trying to get people to do Carpool Karaoke and not many artists wanted to do it... Mariah Carey... was the first person to say yes.

"Her words were: 'If it's good enough for George, then it's good enough for me. I'll do it.'"

James signed off his tribute, adding: "We all have so much to thank him for, for the music that he's given that will last forever. But we personally, here at this show, we owe him so much."