James Corden, George Michael

Comic Relief/YouTube

George Michael was really ahead of his time.

Before Carpool Karaoke became the hit segment it is today, there was James Corden's British sitcom Gavin and Stacey. Corden opened up to The Late Show's Stephen Colbert earlier this year about the origins of The Late Late Show's hit segment, and revealed it all began in a 2011 skit for the British charity Comic Relief. In the video, Corden played his Gavin and Stacey persona while driving around with the late singer.

"My original idea was to pick George Michael up from prison in a car," Corden said. "And then we realized, 'Maybe we'll lose the prison, but what if there's still some fun for me and George to be in the car and we'll sing some Wham! songs?'" 

The segment opened with Corden telling the late singer he couldn't attend Comic Relief. "Why can't I come to Comic Relief?" an angry Michael asked.

"Because you're a joke, George!" Corden snapped. "It's embarrassing! I can't walk into Comic Relief with you. Comic Relief is about helping people like you! Don't put your sad face on. We'll just listen to some music." 

James Corden, George Michael

Comic Relief/YouTube

Like the subsequent segments, Corden turned on the radio to find a Wham! song. "I'm Your Man" began to play, so Corden started singing along to the radio. A few seconds later, a sad Michael got over his pretend bad mood and joined Corden to finish belting out the tune.

Corden was one of many stars to pay tribute to the Wham! singer on social media Sunday after news broke that he had passed away at age 53. "I've loved George Michael for as long as I can remember," Corden tweeted. "He was an absolute inspiration. Always ahead of his time."

Michael's publicist released a statement saying he "passed away peacefully at home."

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