Rick Parfitt dead at 68

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Status Quo rocker Rick Parfitt has died in a hospital in Spain, aged 68.

The British guitarist’s manager confirmed the news on Saturday (24Dec16), two days after he was admitted to a hospital on Thursday (22Dec16) with complications relating to a shoulder injury.

The news comes after the musician’s announcement in October (16) that he would no longer be performing with his band after suffering from a heart attack in the summer, following a performance in Turkey in June (16).

His death at lunchtime on Saturday followed years of concern about his ill health, which had seen him stricken by multiple heart attacks and a cancer scare.

His manager and family said in a statement: “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.”

Hits such as Rockin’ All Over The World became immortalised when they opened the historic Live Aid concert in 1985 – a performance broadcast globally.

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

But despite international success, the Surrey-born musician’s various vices caught up with him in 1997 when he suffered a quadruple bypass.

Despite doctors warning him he was on the verge of killing himself, he vowed not to become a “born-again Christian” and still enjoyed the “odd pint”.

Following the announcement of his death, Status Quo’s official website updated to show a full-screen picture of the rocker on stage with his guitar.

Parfitt becomes the latest in a long list of celebrated musicians to have died this year, including David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen.

Defining figures of the global music scene expressed their shock and sadness at the news.

Fellow guitarist and long-haired rocker Brian May, wrote online: “Shocked and so sad to hear of the passing of Rick Parfitt. Hard to find words. You truly joyfully rocked our world. RIP dear buddy.”

Live Aid co-organiser Midge Ure said: “Status Quo’s Rick Parfitt dies. Dreadfully sad. Lovely man. Thoughts go out to his family and friends.”