THE POGUES singer Shane MacGowan has died aged 65 after having been in critical care for the past several months.The Fairytale of New York singer, who had been diagnosed with viral encephalitis – a serious condition which leads to brain swelling – passed away today.
Shane’s wife Victoria shared a heartbreaking statement announcing the star’s death.
She shared a throwback black and white snap of her beloved husband and shared her shock at the loss of “the love of my life”.
Follow our Shane MacGowan death updates blog for news and updates…
The Pogues song covered in 2022 to support Ukraine
New York singer Jesse Malin and Eugene Hütz, the Ukrainian-born frontman of the gypsy punk band, Gogol Bordello, filmed a music video covering The Pogues’ If I Should Fall From Grace With God.
When the cover was released in 2022, Hütz said in a statement: “Universe knows Jesse and I bonded over Pogues years ago.” Jesse Malin told Rolling Stone at the time: “ I have always believed in global unity through music. The universal heartbeat that brings us together.”
The Pogues members
The Irish band featured a number of members over the years, including:
Shane MacGowan on his 2015 fall
In an interview with Vice at the time of his injury, Shane said: ”It was a fall and I fell the wrong way.”
“I broke my pelvis, which is the worst thing you can do. I’m lame in one leg, I can’t walk around the room without a crutch.
“I am getting better, but it’s taking a very long time. It’s the longest I’ve ever taken to recover from an injury. And I’ve had a lot of injuries.”
Why was Shane in a wheelchair?
The Pogues legend had been confined to a wheelchair since a brutal fall in 2015.
Shane fractured his pelvis when leaving a studio in Dublin.
He went on to struggle with other health issues over the years prior to his death.
Shane’s early life
In 1975, when he was 17, his family committed him to London’s Bethlem psychiatric hospital for six months.
After his release, the first gig he attended featured the Sex Pistols as a support act: “And that’s when I saw God.”
He recalled years later: “The punk thing f***ing changed my life. It didn’t matter that I was ugly. Nothing mattered.”
In October that year he had his first brush with notoriety when he was photographed at a punk show, one sticky-out ear gushing with blood where a fellow fan had bit it.
The headline in music mag NME was: “Cannibalism at Clash gig”.
He began calling himself Shane O’Hooligan and joined punk band The Nipple Erectors – later The Nips – as frontman in 1977.
Shane MacGowan latest news
Everything you need to know about Victoria Mary Clarke
Born on January 11, 1966, Victoria Mary Clarke is a writer and journalist from Ireland.
She has contributed articles to several British and Irish newspapers and periodicals.
Growing up in the Irish countryside, Clarke attended Renaniree’s national school.
Her mother, who was born in Herbert Park, became pregnant at the age of 19 with Victoria.
Songs that feature Shane MacGowan
Here are the songs Shane MacGowan featured on:
What a Wonderful World (with Nick Cave, 1992)
The Church of the Holy Spook (with The Popes, 1994)
That Woman’s Got Me Drinking (with The Popes, 1994)
Haunted (with Sinéad O’Connor, 1995)
My Way (1996)
I Put a Spell on You (Haiti Charity Song) (with Nick Cave, Bobby Gillespie, Chrissie Hynde, Mick Jones with actor Johnny Depp, Glen Matlock, Paloma Faith and Eliza Doolittle) (2010)
Films that feature Shane MacGowan
Here are more films Shane MacGowan featured on:
If I Should Fall From Grace: The Shane MacGowan Story – 2001
The Clash: Westway to the World – 2002 (archive footage appearance as himself)
The Story of Fairytale of New York – 2005
The Libertine – 2005
Harry Hill’s TV Burp – 2007
Harry Hill’s TV Burp – 2010
The Pogues in Paris: 30th Anniversary concert at the Olympia (DVD) (November 2012)
Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan – 2020
What to know about Shane MacGowan
Singer and songwriter Shane Patrick Lysaght MacGowan was born on December 25, 1957.
He was the main vocalist and composer of the Celtic punk band the Pogues.
He was born in Kent, England, to Irish parents. Along with creating his own solo music and working with musicians including Kirsty MacColl, Joe Strummer, Nick Cave, Steve Earle, Johnny Depp, Sinéad O’Connor, and Ronnie Drew, he was also a member of the Nipple Erectors and Shane MacGowan and the Popes.
President Higgins releases statement
Irish President, Michael D. Higgins, has released a statement following the death of Shane MacGowan.
He said: “Like so many across the world, it was with the greatest sadness that I learned this morning of the death of Shane MacGowan.
“Shane will be remembered as one of music’s greatest lyricists. So many of his songs would be perfectly crafted poems, if that would not have deprived us of the opportunity to hear him sing them.
“The genius of Shane’s contribution includes the fact that his songs capture within them, as Shane would put it, the measure of our dreams – of so many worlds, and particularly those of love, of the emigrant experience and of facing the challenges of that experience with authenticity and courage, and of living and seeing the sides of life that so many turn away from.
“His words have connected Irish people all over the globe to their culture and history, encompassing so many human emotions in the most poetic of ways.
“Shane’s talent was nurtured from a young age by his mother Therese, herself an award winning folk singer in her own right. Therese, who lost her life in such tragic circumstances on New Year’s Day 2017, inspired in Shane the love of Irish music and traditions which resulted in the wonderful music and lyrics which have been a source of such joy for so many people.
“Born on Christmas Day, there was perhaps some form of destiny which led Shane to writing ‘Fairytale of New York’, the timeless quality of which will surely mean that it will be listened to every Christmas for the next century or more. Likewise songs like ‘Rainy Night in Soho’, ‘A Pair of Brown Eyes’, ‘If I Should Fall from Grace with God’ and so many others will live on far into the years and decades to come.
“I think too of ‘Haunted’, and the particular poignancy that both Shane and Sinéad O’Connor have left us in such quick succession.
“It was a great honour for me, as President of Ireland, to present Shane with a lifetime achievement award in the National Concert Hall in January 2018 as we marked his 60th birthday. A richly deserved honour.
“On behalf of Sabina and I, may I extend my deepest condolences to Shane’s wife Victoria, his sister Siobhán, his father Maurice, his bandmates in the Pogues and other projects, and to all his many friends and family.”
Beyond The Pogues
In 1992, Macgowan formed the band Shane Macgowan and The Popes.
In addition to touring abroad, the trio released two studio albums, a live CD, three tracks for The Popes Outlaw Heaven (2010), a live DVD, and a live DVD.
MacGowan had an appearance on Lou Reed’s Perfect Day in 1997, which was recorded by several musicians to benefit Children in Need.
It spent three weeks—two distinct spells—at the top of the UK single charts.
With over a million copies sold, the song helped the charity raise the most money in six years.
Shane MacGowan and The Popes had a lengthy tour of the UK, Ireland, and Europe from December 2003 to May 2005.
Fans share tributes
Tributes have flooded in for Shane MacGowan this morning following his tragic death.
Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter one fan said: “‘Fare thee well, gone away, there’s nothing left to say’ The songs were brilliant, the writing even better. RIP Shane MacGowan.”
A second said: “Jesus. I knew he wasn’t well but this is still a big shock! RIP Shane MacGowan, greatest ever Irish songwriter!”
Final pic of Pogues icon Shane MacGowan following death
The last ever picture of Shane MacGowan shows the Pogues legend in good spirits.
The Fairytale of New York singer tragically passed away today after an eight-year long health battle.
Major comeback in 2019
On June 13, 2019, MacGowan returned to the stage as a guest of Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders at Dublin’s RDS Arena.
MacGowan was scheduled to appear on July 7th with a number of guests for the Feis Liverpool 2019 finale, following the success of Feis Liverpool 2018’s finale, which featured him alongside Imelda May, Paddy Moloney, Albert Hammond Jr., and many more.
However, the event was ultimately cancelled due to a lack of ticket sales and funding issues.
According to reports, MacGowan went back into the studio in 2020 to record a few new songs with the Irish indie band Cronin, which is headed by brothers Johnny and Mick Cronin.
More about The Pogues
In 1987 Shane co-wrote Fairytale of New York which he performed with Kirsty MacCall.
The Christmas single reached number one in the Irish charts and number two in the UK charts.
They also had a No8 hit with The Irish Rover and two top-five albums – If I Should Fall From Grace With God and Peace and Love.
About the formation of The Pogues
Drawing from his heritage in traditional Irish music, Shane founded The Pogues in 1982.
Shane on vocals, Peter “Spider” Tracy on tin whistle, and Jem Finer on banjo were the original members.
James Fearnley, the accordion player for the Nips, Andrew Ranken on drums, and Cait O’Riordan on bass completed the lineup.
The band’s initial name, Pogue Mahone, was an anglicization of the phrase “kiss my arse,” póg mo thóin.
Shane had been receiving treatment for months
The 65-year-old singer had been undergoing treatment for viral encephalitis, a dangerous illness that causes swelling in the brain, for several months.
Since the diagnosis, Shane has been taken to the hospital many times.
It is believed that he was readmitted in June, although Victoria hadn’t disclosed the precise cause of his admissions.
Shane’s wife pays tribute
Shane’s wife Victoria paid a touching tribute to Shane, who was “the start and end of everything that I hold dear”.
She said: “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.”
Shane MacGowan dies aged 65
The Pogues star Shane MacGowan has died at the age of 65 after losing an eight year health battle.
The Fairytale of New York singer, who had been diagnosed with viral encephalitis – a serious condition which leads to brain swelling – passed away today. More