The guitarist of British band Status Quo Rick Parfitt died on Christmas Eve in a Marbella hospital after suffering a "severe infection". The death of the 68-year-old was announced in a statement by his manager, who added that he had been admitted to hospital the previous Thursday due to complications arising from a preexisting shoulder injury.
The musician, who had homes in Alhaurín el Grande and Marbella, had set up a real estate agency around a year ago in Marbella, although he had not given up his music.
"I started this [real estate] for fun, a way of putting another string to my bow. But it's working quite well and I hope it will earn me a decent pension," Parfitt told SUR in February.
"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," said the statement released on Saturday.
In October Parfitt had announced his intention to give up live performances with the band on medical advice, after suffering a heart attack in the summer.
After that incident his manager said that Parfitt had been "dead" for several minutes, which left him with mild cognitive impairments. His health problems date back much further; in 1997 he underwent a quadruple bypass operation.
"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," continued the statement.
Parfitt, born in Woking, Surrey, penned some of Status Quo's greatest hits and formed the core of the band along with vocalist and guitarist Francis Rossi.