The Status Quo co-founder has died in hospital after a severe infection.
The band confirmed on social media this afternoon that Rick had been admitted to hospital in Marbella, Spain on Thursday 15th December after complications to a shoulder injury, following a previous fall.
The statement, made by the Parfitt family with Status Quo manager Simon Porter goes on to say that "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."
The family statement, which you can read in full below, highlights the enduring popularity of Rick, as part of one of the hardest touring bands in the UK: "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."
A true icon of British rock, Parfitt was instantly recognisable to generations of music fans, rocking alongside his school friend and Status Quo co-founder Francis Rossi.
Often chided by music critics for their seemingly strict adherence to a three-chord song structure (which they jokingly referenced on their 2007 album 'In Search of the Fourth Chord') the Quo nevertheless proved the critics wrong, building an enormous following throughout the 70s and 80s, and famously opening Live Aid in 1985. The band have had over 60 chart hits in the UK, more than any other rock band.
The thoughts of everyone here at Planet Rock go out to Rick's family, and fellow members of Status Quo.
Planet Rock will pay tribute by airing a classic episode of 'My Planet Rocks' from our archive, featuring Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi choosing songs that inspired them. You can hear it on Tuesday 27th December at 6pm.