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Shane MacGowan, frontman of The Pogues, dies at 65

His wife Victoria Mary Clarke pays tribute to a “beautiful soul and beautiful angel”.

Shane MacGowan

Credit: Christie Goodwin/Redferns via Getty Images

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Shane MacGowan – singer-songwriter and frontman of The Pogues – has died aged 65.

Confirming his death on social media, MacGowan’s wife Victoria Mary Clarke writes: “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, the love of my life, the most beautiful soul and beautiful angel, 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.”

She continues: “I am blessed beyond words to have met him and to have had so many years of life, love, joy, 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 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.”

MacGowan suffered a series of health issues in recent years, and was notably diagnosed with encephalitis – a rare but serious condition involving brain inflammation – last year. He also used a wheelchair since 2015 after becoming injured in a fall.

Born in Kent on Christmas Day, 1957, Shane MacGowan formed punk outfit Pogue Mahone, later shortened to The Pogues, in 1982.

The group released seven studio albums before their split in 2014, but had their biggest hit with Fairytale of New York, which appeared on 1988’s If I Should Fall From Grace With God. The track – which also features singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl – has remained a quintessential Christmas song since its release.

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