Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has died at the age of 68. His manager announced that the musician passed away on Christmas Eve following a severe infection for which he was admitted to hospital on Thursday, after a shoulder injury.
The dad-of-five had been planning to launch a solo career in 2017, and had revealed intentions to bring out an album and autobiography in the new year.
Rick had suffered quite severe health problems in the past. He underwent a quadruple heart bypass in 1997. This October, he announced he would no longer be performing with his band after suffering a heart attack in the summer.
The Status Quo star was one of the most recognisable rock guitarists of all times. As well as playing his Fender Telcaster, he also wrote many of his band's biggest hits. In 2010 the veteran rocker was awarded an OBE for services to music. He lived in Spain with his third wife Lyndsay and their twins Tommy and Lily, both 8. HELLO! was lucky enough to be invited to photograph the family together previously.
In 2013 Rick revealed he had fears he would not live long enough to see his youngest children grow up, despite having put his Rock'n'Roll lifestlye behind him.
"It upsets me to think that I won’t see them fully grow up," he told the Daily Mail. "I probably won’t. Even if I live to 80, they will just about be 20. I would love to see them get to 21. It frightens the life out of me when I think I’m not going to see them grow up, and to see what they do and what they become," he went on. "I know it’s morbid, but I’m only being realistic. I won’t be around.
"That really scares me. I’m going to try and do as much as I can. I’m going to travel with them and take them to Disneyland. I want to be able to see their faces when they see that sort of thing. And just be with them as much as I can. I won’t go away for more than three weeks now."
His band, which he played in alongside lead singer Francis Rossi, had been together for 50 years. In the past half century, Status Quo sold 20 million records and spent 415 weeks in the charts.
The statement from his manager reads: “We are truly devastated to have to announce that Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has passed away at lunchtime today. He died in hospital in Marbella, Spain, as a result of a severe infection, having been admitted to hospital on Thursday evening following complications to a shoulder injury incurred by a previous fall.
"This tragic news comes at a time when Rick was hugely looking forward to launching a solo career with an album and autobiography planned for 2017 following his departure from Status Quo’s touring activities on medical advice. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends, fellow band members, management, crew and his dedicated legion of fans from throughout the world, gained through 50 years of monumental success with Status Quo.
"Rick is survived by his wife Lyndsay, their twins Tommy and Lily and Rick’s adult children Rick Jnr and Harry. No further comment will be made at this time and Rick’s family, and the band, ask for their privacy to be respected at this difficult time."