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George Michael was James Corden's first Carpool Karaoke

Emmy Griffiths

The late singer George Michael, who passed away aged 53 on Christmas Day, was the very first passenger on James Corden's immensely popular Carpool Karaoke – even before it became a segment on the star's chat show, The Late Late Show.

Back in 2011, the pair took a drive together as part of a Comic Relief sketch. In the clip, James is in his role as Smithy from Gavin and Stacey and is friends with George Michael, who pretends to sulk after 'Smithy' tells him he can't help with Comic Relief. He then cheers up after James plays some tunes from Wham!, and the pair sing along to hits including I'm Your Man and Freedom while watching matching outfits.  

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George passed away aged 53

James took to Twitter to pay his respects following the sad news that George had died, writing: "I've loved George Michael for as long as I can remember. He was an absolute inspiration. Always ahead of his time." He then shared a video of one of George's performances, writing: "George Michael wrote Praying for Time 25 years ago but I truly believe it's message means more now than ever." He also spoke to Stephen Colbert about his singalong with George, saying: "There was something very joyful about it. We wondered if it was an idea ... Los Angeles, traffic, car pool lanes, Karaoke, traffic, driving people in the car, singing."

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George reportedly suffered from heart failure

George's publicist released a statement announcing the news on Christmas Day, telling HELLO!: "It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period. The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage."

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