Don McLean was "touched" the late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek asked him to perform at what he knew may be his final Christmas party.

Each year the game show presenter hosted a festive shindig for the Jeopardy! team but last year's bash was a more poignant occasion due to Trebek's battle with pancreatic cancer - a fight he lost, aged 80, on Sunday.

Following the news of the TV legend's death, the American Pie singer paid tribute to him and revealed the concert was on Trebek's "bucket list" of things to do before he died.

"Alex asked if I would come and sing for him and his Jeopardy! family at his annual Christmas party last year," McLean told People magazine.

"I was on his 'bucket list,' he told me. It was at a lovely Italian restaurant near his home," he shared.

"It was a joyous and sad occasion and I was very touched that my music was that important to him. There was not the slightest hint of self-pity or weakness in this man," McLean reflected.

Explaining how Trebek inspired him to carry himself better in old age, the 75-year-old singer-songwriter added: "He was as elegant and dignified as you saw him on television.

"Old school for sure and someone who we all can learn from. I thought of him often afterward and I'll think of him in the future and maybe try to be a little more like him," he mused.