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BREAKING: The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan dies aged 65

Shane MacGowan
Shane MacGowan - RIP. Image: Instagram, @shanemacgowanofficial

The news of his death comes just seven days after his release from St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.

Musician and singer Shane MacGowan, best known as the lead singer of The Pogues, has died at the age of 65.

His wife, Victoria Mary Clarke, confirmed the news on Instagram on Thursday morning, saying: “I don’t know how to say this so I am just going to 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 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.

“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.

“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.

“You will live in my heart forever. Rave on in the garden all wet with rain that you loved so much.

“You meant the world to me.”

MacGowan was born to Irish parents in Kent on Christmas Day, 1957. He spent a part of his childhood with his mother’s family in Tipperary, where he was surrounded by folk and traditional music.

In the 1970s, he became part of the punk scene in London as ‘Shane O’Hooligan’, and some years later formed the band ‘Pogue Mahone’, later becoming ‘The Pogues’.

The band became well-known for their drunken, raucous performances and unique style, with MacGowan leading the group as frontman.

Although infamous for their wild live shows, MacGowan also brought a sombre, melodic songwriting style with many of the band’s tunes – like A Rainy Night in Soho, Fairytale of New York, and A Pair of Brown Eyes – drawing heavily on the Irish folk tradition.

The group toured widely in Ireland, but were also hugely popular abroad with an Irish diaspora in England and the United States where their wistful and romantic songs about Ireland and the homeland left behind found a wide audience.

MacGowan was known to be close to singer Sinead O’Connor, who passed away in July this year.

After O’Connor lost her son in early 2022 – named Shane after her close friend, MacGowan reached out on social media saying: “Sinead you have always been there for me and for so many people, you have been a comfort & a soul who is not afraid to feel the pain of the suffering.”

He had been unwell in recent years, receiving treatment in hospital for encephalitis in December 2022, and spending time in intensive care in the summer.

In the past few weeks, Bono and The Edge, Moya Brennan, Damien Dempsey, Daniel O’Donnell, Imelda May, Mundy and Bobby Gillespie all visited the hospital to see the iconic Fairytale of New York singer.

His death marks the loss of one of the most influential figures in Irish music history.

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