Shane MacGowan, lead singer of Celtic punk band the Pogues, has passed away at the age of 65.

It’s understood the master lyricist “died peacefully at 3.30am this morning (November 30) with his wife and sister by his side.”

McGowan’s spokesperson assured that “prayers and last rites” were read as the artist passed. His wife, Victoria Mary Clarke Angels, shared a sentimental post on Instagram, noting the joyful impact that MacGowan’s music has on the world.

“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.”

MacGowan was in hospital just a few weeks ago with health issues that were not publicly addressed, but Angels confirmed that her husband left the hospital “a few days later” in time to celebrate the couple’s wedding anniversary and his upcoming birthday on Christmas Day.

In 2022, the songwriter revealed that he was diagnosed with encephalitis which, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, is brain inflammation that “can produce a wide range of symptoms and, in extreme cases, cause brain damage, stroke, or even death.”

Born in Kent in 1957, MacGowan had always been into music. According to a biography written by his brother, MacGowan never really liked school, despite excelling in English. He went to an arts college, but even that wasn’t enough to spark passion in his soul.

However it was punk that did.

MacGowan was just 18 when the punk scene started taking off… and he never looked back.

He formed The Pogues in 1982 and went on to release seven studio albums with the band. In 1988, The Pogues collaborated with the late Kirsty MacColl to create ‘Fairytale of New York’ which peaked at number two in the UK charts:


BBC mentioned that the single is still one of the UK’s most beloved Christmas songs to this day.

MacGowan was a part of The Pogues until their breakup in 2014.