The Pogues Frontman Shane MacGowan Dead At 65
Singer-songwriter Shane MacGowan, best known as the frontman for the Pogues, has died at the age of 65.
His wife Victoria Mary Clarke confirmed the news on Instagram, writing, "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..."
A rep for MacGowan confirmed to the BBC that he "died peacefully at 3.30am this morning (30 November) with his wife and and sister by his side. Prayers and the last rites were read during his passing.
MacGowan had left the hospital back on November 22, and was able to celebrate his wedding anniversary before his passing.
As the leader of the Pogues, MacGowan became one of Ireland's most famous musicians of his time, fronting a band that struck a chord with their authentic blend of punk spirit and Celtic-inspired folk sound. They scored a major hit in 1987 with "Fairytale of New York," a duet Kirsty MacColl that has gone on to become a holiday favourite. The band's 1985 opus, Rum Sodomy & The Lash, has long been considered a seminal Irish folk-punk album.
He was known for his gifted lyricism and Irish brogue, however, at the height of his fame, he was just as famous for his excessive use of alcohol and public antics. His health became a regular news story, and even inspired author Tim Bradford to name his 2000 book about Irish culture, Is Shane MacGowan Still Alive?
In a 2015 interview with Vice, he confirmed that the Pogues had broken up after a 2001 reunion that didn't last. "I went back with [The] Pogues and we grew to hate each other all over again," he confirmed.
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