25 Dec 2016

Rick Parfitt, guitarist of Status Quo, dies

10:54 am on 25 December 2016

British rock group Status Quo's rhythm guitarist Rick Parfitt has died in a Spanish hospital, aged 68.

Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt

Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt Photo: AFP

He died from a severe infection after going to hospital on Thursday following complications to a shoulder injury, his manager said.

Parfitt's musical partnership with Francis Rossi, which spanned five decades, made Status Quo one of British rock's most enduring acts.

He had been due to launch a solo career with an album and autobiography planned for 2017.

The musician suffered a long series of health problems including having to undergo a quadruple heart bypass in 1997.

In October, he said he would no longer be performing with his band after he had a heart attack in the summer.

Parfitt is survived by his wife Lyndsay, their twins Tommy and Lily and his adult children Rick Jnr and Harry.

Rick Jnr tweeted: "I cannot describe the sadness I feel right now. To many he was a rock star, to me he was simply 'Dad', and I loved him hugely. RIP Pappa Parf."

Founder of Band Aid, Midge Ure, tweeted: "Dreadfully sad. Lovely man. Thoughts go out to his family and friends."

Status Quo found success globally with hits including Rockin' All Over The World.

Whatever You Want, co-written by Parfitt and Andy Bown and released in 1979, became one of the band's biggest hits.

In 2015, the band passed a milestone achieved by only a handful of musicians, spending a total of 500 weeks in the UK album charts.