The legendary musician, poet and songwriter was best known for his work with trad-punk fusion band The Pogues.
Victoria Mary Clarke, wife of the beloved singer, confirmed the news in an Instagram post.
"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 and beautiful angel and the sun and the moon and the start and end of everything that I hold dear has gone to be with Jesus and Mary and his beautiful mother Therese,” Ms Clarke said.
She continued: "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.
“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."
MacGowan had been receiving treatment in St Vincents Hospital in Dublin for several months for the brain condition, viral encephalitis. He was discharged on 22nd November.
He was born on Christmas day in Kent, England in 1957 to Irish parents. His father, Maurice, was from Dublin and his mother, Therese, was from Tipperary.
MacGowan was known for his songwriting and lyrical prowess, and released his first album with The Pogues, Red Roses for Me, in 1984.
The follow-up, 1985’s Rum, Sodomy & The Lash was a criticial and commercial breakthrough for the band, featuring the classic singles ‘A Pair of Brown Eyes,’ ‘Dirty Old Town,’ and ‘Sally MacLennane.’
The Pogues released ‘Fairytale of New York’ featuring Kirsty MacColl on 23rd November 1987 and an eternal Christmas classic was born.
The remaining members of The Pogues said in a social media statement: "It is with the deepest of sorrow and heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Shane MacGowan.
"Shane died peacefully at 3am this morning with his wife Victoria and family by his side."
Shane MacGowan is survived by his wife Victoria Mary Clarke, who he married in 2018, his sister Siobhán and his father Maurice.