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Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt dies after career rockin' all over the world

Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt, who carved out a rock'n'roll career spanning half a century, has died at the age of 68.

The veteran musician s uffered from a severe infection while in a Spanish hospital, which he had visited due to complications with a pre-existing shoulder injury, his manager said.

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.

Most recently, Parfitt had been forced to withdraw from his band's tour after he collapsed and briefly "died" over the summer, according to manager Simon Porter.

His family and manager said in a statement: "We are truly devastated to have to announce that Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has passed away at lunchtime today.

It added: "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."

His son Rick Jr - one of four children the guitarist leaves behind - also posted his own touching tribute online.

He wrote: "I cannot describe the sadness I feel right now. To many he was a rockstar, to me he was simply 'Dad', and I loved him hugely. RIP Pappa Parf"

From 1967 onwards, Parfitt helped steer Status Quo into a role as one of the British rock scene's staple acts.

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."

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