Remember George Michael’s legacy in James Corden’s first-ever ‘carpool karaoke’
On Christmas Day, the world mourned the loss of a singer who defined a generation, broke boundaries and challenged norm: George Michael.
But thanks to the magic of YouTube, we can remember his legacy for years to come.
The former Wham! singer died at the age of 53 on Christmas, reportedly of heart failure. In a statement, Michael’s publicist confirmed the death, saying their “beloved son, brother and friend” passed away “peacefully.”
His partner, Fadi Fawaz, shared in a tweet posted on Monday that he found Michael “dead peacefully in bed.”
But like all great artists, Michael will live on through his music, continuing to transform generations for years.
Michael co-founded Wham! in 1981 with friend Andrew Ridgeley. Until the duo dissolved in 1986, Wham! sold more than 25 million records worldwide. The duo’s success caused Michael to skyrocket in fame, allowing him to continue on with a solo career.
Flash forward to 2011: The British charity Comic Relief is holding its annual Red Nose Day, a telethon that airs every two years to raise money.
British comedian James Corden, future host of “The Late Late Show” and carpool karaoke king, debuted his first mini-carpool karaoke sketch with Michael for Red Nose Day in 2011, giving the world a glimpse at what was to come.
Corden, who played Smithy, was commissioned by Comic Relief to help out, but Smithy nearly turned down the offer to spend time with his friend, George Michael.
Smithy told Michael he would have to stay in the car while he helped Comic Relief, prompting Michael to get a little grumpy. To cheer him up, Smithy turned on the radio — which happened to be playing “I’m Your Man” by Wham!
The 2011 event wound up raising £74.3 million, the highest amount raised in one night at the time. The 2015 Red Nose Day raised £99,418,831.
On Christmas Day, Corden tweeted a tribute to his friend, calling him an “absolute inspiration.”
Many other celebrities turned to Twitter to express their thoughts, well wishes — and disbelief.
R.I.P. George Michael.
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