Shane MacGowan, the sandpapery-voiced former Pogues frontman who served as the bridge between traditional Irish folk music and punk rock, died on Thursday at the age of 65. MacGowan’s wife, Victoria Clarke, confirmed the musician’s death in a statementThe BBC wrote that MacGowan “died peacefully at 3.30am this morning (30 November) with his wife and and sister by his side.”

“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,” Clarke wrote. “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 diagnosed with viral encephalitis last year, according to Sky News, and entered a Dublin hospital earlier this month to get treatment for an infection. Two weeks ago, Clarke wrote on Instagram that she was “facing terrifying fears.”

Nick Cave, who collaborated with MacGowan in the Nineties, tells Rolling Stone that MacGowan was “a true friend and the greatest songwriter of his generation. [It’s] a very sad day.”

Rolling Stone

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A contribution from The BFD staff.