The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan dead at 65

The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan has died, his wife Victoria Mary Clarke shared on social media Thursday. He was 65. 

No cause of death was given, but in late 2022, the singer spent months in a Dublin hospital viral fighting encephalitis.

MacGowan’s life, and his music, were famously intertwined with his hard partying ways.

“[T]he love of my life and the most beautiful soul and beautiful angel and the sun and the moon and the start and end of everything that I hold dear has gone to be with Jesus and Mary and his beautiful mother Therese,” Clarke began her post. 

“I am blessed beyond words to have met him and to have loved him and to have been so endlessly and unconditionally loved by him and to have had so many years of life and love and joy and fun and laughter and so many adventures,” she continued. 

Calling MacGowan the “love of my life,” Clarke also expressed, “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. 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.”

Drinking problems led to MacGowan leaving the beloved band he founded in 1982 — as Pogue Mahone, a rude Irish slang phrase — in 1991.

The Celtic punk legend’s famous holiday song, with the late Kirsty MacColl, “Fairytale of New York,” came to a new generation last year, thanks to its addition to James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special soundtrack. 

The 1987 hit was also covered by Bon Jovi in 2020, and most recently, Travis Kelce teamed up with his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, to record a hit cover called “Fairytale of Philadelphia.”


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