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Shane MacGowan, Pogues songwriter, lead singer, dies at 65

Macgowan was 65 years old.

Shane MacGowan, lead singer of Irish group The Pogues, has died, his wife announced Thursday.

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According to Victoria Mary Clarke MacGowan, the singer died in the hospital after being diagnosed with encephalitis, BBC News reported.

The musician, whose hits included 1988′s “Fairytale of New York” and “A Pair of Brown Eyes,” had been not been well for some time, his wife said.

“I don’t know how to say this so I am just going to say it. Shane... has gone to be with Jesus and Mary and his beautiful mother Therese,” Victoria MacGowan said on Instagram.

MacGowan, 65, formed the group Pogue Mahone — later shortened to The Pogues — in the early 1980s and was its lead singer from 1982 until the group’s break-up in 2014, The Guardian reported.

MacGowan said he was seeking a new sound with the group, infusing Irish folk music with the rock and roll scene of the 1980s.

“It became obvious that everything that could be done with a standard rock format had been done, usually quite badly,” he told the NME in 1983, as The Pogues were getting off the ground. “We just wanted to shove music that had roots, and is just generally stronger and has more real anger and emotion, down the throats of a completely pap-orientated pop audience.”

One of the band’s most successful songs came out in 1988, a Christmas song called “Fairytale of New York.” The song was written by MacGowan.

MacGowan was awarded the Ivor Novello songwriting inspiration award in 2018, after producing five albums with The Pogues and some of his own solo releases.

A documentary about his life — “Crock Of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan” — was released in 2020, according to BBC News.


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