George Michael's art collection raises $14.6 million at auction

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Thousands of George Michael fans lined up around the block to see the late singer's impressive art collection, before it sold at auction raising more than £11 million ($14,597,000) for charity.

The singer-songwriter, who died suddenly on Christmas Day 2016, was a major supporter of British artists, including the likes of Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst.

Michael, who shot to fame in the 1980s as one half of pop band Wham!, amassed a noteworthy and valuable collection during his lifetime.

After his death aged 53, which an inquest attributed to "natural causes," stories emerged in the British press of Michael's largely unpublicized but extensive support for many charities.

Proceeds raised from the exhibition's world tour, which took in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and a special multimedia exhibition in London, will now enable his philanthropic work to continue.

Standout pieces from the singer's collection sold for £9,264,000 ($12,302,590) at an evening auction at the London branch of Christie's auction house. The balance was raised by online sales.

Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in London in 1963, Michael, whose biggest hits included "Careless Whisper," "Last Christmas" and "Fastlove," collaborated with many global stars, including Aretha Franklin, Elton John and Luciano Pavarotti.

According to Christie's website, the collection showed Michael's "dedication to cutting-edge creativity in every field and reflects his instinctive support of young emerging artistic talent," many of whom he later befriended.

The pre-sale exhibition attracted over 12,000 visitors, almost a quarter (24%) of whom were new to Christie's. Bidders from 27 countries registered for the evening auction, reflecting the star's global appeal.

Every single item of the 60 lots listed in the evening auction -- which saw competitive bidding in the saleroom in London and via simulcast from New York, in addition to online -- was sold.

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