The Pogues' Frontman and 'Fairytale of New York' Singer Shane MacGowan's Cause of Death Revealed

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The 65-year-old musician died of pneumonia on Thursday, Nov. 30

<p>Christie Goodwin/Redferns via Getty </p> Shane MacGowan

Christie Goodwin/Redferns via Getty

Shane MacGowan

The cause of death for The Pogues' bandleader Shane MacGowan has been revealed.

The “Fairytale of New York” musician's wife Victoria Mary Clarke told the New York Times that MacGowan died of pneumonia in a hospital on Nov. 30.

Prior to his death, the artist who would have turned 66 on Christmas Day, was battling viral encephalitis, which is an uncommon and potentially life threatening condition that causes the brain to swell, since December 2022 per Sky News.

According to RTE, MacGowan will be laid to rest in Nenagh, County Tipperary in Ireland, near his childhood family farm, on Dec. 8. The funeral will be open to the public, where friends, family and fans can attend.

<p>Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns</p> Shane MacGowan performs in England in December 2010

Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns

Shane MacGowan performs in England in December 2010

Related: Shane MacGowan, 'Fairytale of New York' Singer and Pogues Frontman, Dead at 65

Clarke, 57, told The Brendan O'Connor Show on RTE that the Irish music icon, who was discharged from the hospital on Nov. 22, "was trying very hard to breathe."

"He wasn't ready to give up. He wasn't ready to stop fighting — but his body did it for him," she said.

Clarke said that in the months leading up to MacGowan's death, he had "a constant stream of visitors."

"We did our best to keep him entertained, so he had a lot of people visiting. Lots of musicians like Bono, The Edge, Mundy, Imelda [May], Daniel O'Donnell, Moya Brennan, Aidan Gillen, Jim Sheridan, Bobby Gillespie," she said.

<p> Phillip Massey/FilmMagic</p> Victoria Clarke and Shane MacGowan in Dublin in June 2012

Phillip Massey/FilmMagic

Victoria Clarke and Shane MacGowan in Dublin in June 2012

MacGowan's widow also revealed that her late husband had finished an album before his death, and it "sounded good."

"He took great delight in the music he made," she noted.

Clarke confirmed news of MacGowan's death in a touching Instagram post last Thursday.

In the tribute, she remembered her late husband as someone "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."

"I don’t know how to say this so I am just going to say it," Clarke said. "Shane...has gone to be with Jesus and Mary and his beautiful mother Therese."

Clarke then added that she was "blessed beyond words" to have met MacGowan "and to have loved him and to have been so endlessly and unconditionally loved by him and to have had so many years of life and love and joy and fun and laughter and so many adventures."

<p>Dave Benett/Getty</p> Victoria Clarke and Shane MacGowan in London in September 1999

Dave Benett/Getty

Victoria Clarke and Shane MacGowan in London in September 1999

Related: Pogues Singer Shane MacGowan Discharged from Hospital as Wife Celebrates His Homecoming

"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. You will live in my heart forever."

"Rave on in the garden all wet with rain that you loved so much," she concluded. "You meant the world to me."

Although they didn't tie the knot until 2018, Clarke had been by MacGowan's side for over three decades.

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