The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan has died at the age of 65. His wife, journalist Victoria Mary Clarke, and the band confirmed the news in a statement on social media.


"It is with the deepest sorrow and heaviest of hearts that we announced the passing of Shane MacGowan. Shane died peacefully at 3am this morning (30 November, 2023) with his wife Victoria and family by his side. Prayers and the last rites were read which gave comfort to his family," it read.

The Irish musician and singer was best known for the 1987 hit Fairytale of New York, featuring the late folk singer Kirsty MacColl.

MacGowan was born on Christmas Day, 1957, in Kent to Irish parents. Prior to his passing, he had suffered from several health issues in recent years, including a pelvis fracture that left him requiring a wheelchair in 2015 and encephalitis in 2022.

Earlier this year, he was hospitalised and treated for an infection in the intensive care unit. He was discharged earlier this month, his wife confirmed.

Following MacGowan's death, his wife also shared a tribute on her Instagram, sharing that MacGowan had "gone to be with Jesus and Mary and his beautiful mother Therese".

Shane MacGowan stood by the coast, holding a bottle of beer.
Shane MacGowan. Frederic Reglain/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The post continued: "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."

As well as festive hit Fairytale of New York, which MacGowan co-wrote alongside MacColl, The Pogues (which also included long term members James McNally, Spider Stacy, Jem Finer and James Fearnley) found success with the likes of Dirty Old Town, The Irish Rover, A Pair of Brown Eyes and A Rainy Night in Soho in the '80s and '90s.


The band broke up in 1996, but reunited in 2001 and toured regularly until 2014. In 2006, MacGowan came 50th in the NME Rock Heroes List.