He was recently hospitalized after being diagnosed with encephalitis in 2022. MacGowan’s wife, Victoria Mary Clarke, announced his passing in a social media post on Thursday (Nov. 30).
“I don’t know how to say this so I am just going to say it,” she wrote. “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.”
The post continued, “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.”
Per BBC, a spokesperson for MacGowan confirmed the musician “died peacefully at 3.30am this morning (30 November) with his wife and sister by his side.”
MacGowan is best known for being the gifted songwriter and frontman of the Pogues. The band was originally named Pogue Mahone, or Gaelic for “kiss my ass.” The band became well known in punk rock, later touring with The Clash in 1984 and signing with Stiff Records. But they found mainstream success after releasing the Christmas single “Fairytale of New York” from their 1988 album “If I Should Fall From Grace With God.”
MacGowen was later kicked out of the Pogues in 1991 following his well-documented struggles with drugs and alcohol. He later rejoined the band in 2001 for a reunion tour.
The 2020 documentary Crock Of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan immortalized the rockstar for years to come. Decider’s Benjamin H. Smith wrote in his Crock of Gold review that MacGowan’s songwriting skills certainly earned him “the right to brag.”
In the documentary, MacGowan looked back on his early life in Ireland and said, “God looked down on this little cottage in Ireland and said ‘That little boy there, he’s the little boy that I’m gonna use to save Irish music and take it to greater popularity than it’s ever had before’.”
“There are things that I wish had gone the other way, but there are no regrets,” he said in Crock of Gold. “I savagely get rid of them.”
MacGowan is survived by his wife, Clarke, and his sister and father.
Where To Watch Crock Of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan:
Crock of Gold, which premiered in Sept. 2020, is now available to stream. The doc is currently available on Hulu, where you can watch for free with a subscription. You can also rent Crock of Gold for $2.99 on platforms like Vudu, YouTube, Prime Video, Google Play and Apple TV.