The 38-year-old comedian has paid a heartfelt tribute to the late British musician – who tragically passed away last month at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxon aged 53 – and thanked him for inspiring the segment on the CBS programme, which sees celebrities jump into his Range Rover for a sing-a-long and chat.
James worked with George on a ‘Carpool Karaoke’-style sketch for ‘Comic Relief’ back in 2011, and revealed it was only when he showed the footage to Mariah Carey, his first guest on the segment, that she agreed to take part.
He said: “It was the first time I’d ever sung in a car with anybody, and it’s become quite a big part of my life now, and he really inspired it.
“When we started the show here were tried to get people to do ‘Carpool Karaoke’ and not many artists wanted to do it.
“We would send them this clip of George and we sent it to Mariah Carey. Her words were, ‘If it’s good enough for George, then it’s good enough for me I’ll do it.’
“We owe him so much at this show, George we miss you so much, we really will.”
And on a personal level, James – who has children Max, five, and Carey, two, with wife Julia – credits the late former Wham! singer for helping him get through a lonely time in his life.
Speaking on his show on Tuesday night (03.01.17), he said: “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.
“I can remember so many times when I’ve felt like he was reaching his hand out and telling me that I’m not on my own and that feelings aren’t particular to you.”