Tributes to The Pogues' frontman Shane MacGowan

Tributes to The Pogues' frontman Shane MacGowan

Tributes have been paid to Shane MacGowan, who has died aged 65.

The Pogues' frontman had been ill for some time, and had stayed in hospital recently following a diagnosis of encephalitis.

A statement issued on behalf of MacGowan's wife, Victoria Mary Clarke, his sister, Siobhan, and father, Maurice, said: "It is with deepest sorrow and heaviest of hearts that we announce 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."

Posting on Instagram, Victoria Mary Clarke said he "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".

MacGowan had well-documented drug and alcohol problems over the years. 

He was the lead singer of The Pogues from their founding in 1982 until their split in 2014. 

The band had multiple Top 20 albums, including If I Should Fall From Grace With God (No.3, 1988), Peace And Love (No.5, 1989) and Hell’s Ditch (No.12, 1990), as well as greatest hits collections.

The Pogues cracked the singles Top 10 with The Irish Rover alongside the Dubliners in 1987, and followed that in the same year with what has become their signature hit, Fairytale Of New York featuring Kirsty MacColl. The single peaked at No.2 that year and has gone on to become a streaming perennial at Christmas. 

Fairytale Of New York was already at No.24 in the most recent Midweeks, and could well reach the summit for the first time in December. The single is certified five times platinum and has post-1994 sales of 3,320,382.

Priscilla Kotey, SVP, Warner Music Ireland, said: "Shane MacGowan was in a class by himself. His extraordinary gift for music, zest for living and rebellious nature cemented him as an icon in Ireland and all around the world. He will continue to influence artists everywhere. This Christmas season will feel much darker without his charismatic, illuminating presence.

"We have lost some true Irish legends this year, but we can feel proud their amazing artistry transcended our isle, and that their incredible music will live on forever.”

Kevin Gore, president, global catalogue and Arts Music, Warner Music, said: “Warner Music has been blessed to work with Shane MacGowan for more than four decades. We are honoured to have helped share his passionate, ambitious music with the world. We will proudly celebrate his legacy for years to come.”

Universal Music Publishing Group UK MD Mike McCormack said: "The music world has lost one of its true poets today with Shane’s passing. Uncompromising, unconventional and unique as a frontman/lyricist – his songs will live on forever. I’m glad the Ivor Novello Awards recognised his brilliance by awarding him their Inspiration Award in 2018, so he knew just how much his music meant to other songwriters and fans. I’ll always remember him as a man who lived life on his own terms, a true artist and always fun to be in his company. God bless you Shane from all of us at UMPG and love, thoughts, prayers and condolences to Victoria, Gerry, his family and his many, many friends."

A documentary, Crock Of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan, was released in 2020.

MacGowan was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at a 60th birthday party in Dublin's National Concert Hall in 2018.

PHOTO: Getty Images/David Wolff-Patrick/Redferns 

Fellow artists have paid tribute to Shane MacGowan on social media.


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