The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan, Lead Singer, Has Died at 65 Years of Age

Shane MacGowan

Shane MacGowan, well known as the frontman for The Pogues, died at the age of 65.

On Thursday, November 30, MacGowan’s wife, Victoria Mary Clarke, revealed the “Fairytale of New York” musician’s death via Instagram, uploading a vintage photo of MacGowan clutching a wine glass and a cigarette. “I’m not sure how to say this, so I’ll just say it.” “Shane, who will always be the light that I hold before me and the measure of my dreams and the love of my life and the most beautiful soul and beautiful angel and the sun and moon and the beginning and end of everything that I hold dear, has gone to be with Jesus, Mary, and his beautiful mother Therese,” Clarke wrote.

She went on to say that she felt “blessed beyond words” to have known MacGowan and “to have been so endlessly and unconditionally loved by him” throughout the years. “There’s no way to describe the loss that I am feeling and the longing for just one more of his smiles that lit up my world,” she said in her speech. “Thank you thank you thank you thank you for your presence in this world you made it so very bright and you gave so much joy to so many people with your heart and soul and your music.

A secondary message was posted on the official Pogues Instagram account, explaining that MacGowan “died peacefully” Thursday morning, surrounded by loved ones. MacGowan is survived by his father, Maurice, and sister Siobhan, in addition to his wife.

One week before his death, MacGowan was released from a Dublin hospital where he had been treated for an infection for several months. He was diagnosed with encephalitis last year and uses a wheelchair after being injured in a tumble in 2015. Clarke said in 2016 that MacGowan was sober “for the first time in years.” (After an 11-year engagement, the pair married in 2018.)

MacGowan rose to prominence after cowriting the Christmas hit “Fairytale of New York,” which is reputedly one of the most-played holiday tunes in the United Kingdom. NFL players Jason and Travis Kelce recently reworked the song, releasing “Fairytale of Philadelphia” earlier this month. (The song appears on A Philly Special Christmas Special, Jason and the Philadelphia Eagles’ second charity album, which will be released on Friday, December 1.)

MacGowan was “one of music’s greatest lyricists,” Irish President Michael Higgins said Thursday in an homage to the late musician. “So many of his songs would be perfectly crafted poems, if that would not have deprived us of the opportunity to hear him sing them,” Higgins went on to say. “The genius of Shane’s contribution includes the fact that his songs capture within them, as Shane would put it, the measure of our dreams – of so many worlds, and particularly those of love, of the emigrant experience and of facing the challenges of that experience with authenticity and courage, and of living and seeing the sides of life that so many turn away from.

Higgins went on to say, “His words have connected Irish people all over the globe to their culture and history, encompassing so many human emotions in the most poetic of ways.”

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