Richard John Parfitt, OBE (12 October 1948 – 24 December 2016) was an English musician, best known for being a singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist in the rock band Status Quo. Parfitt was born in Woking, Surrey, on 12 October 1948. His father was an insurance salesman "who was a drinker and a gambler" and his mother worked in cake shops. He described his upbringing as "wonderful", and has described his childhood self as a "typical naughty boy". Parfitt first learned to play the guitar at the age of 11. While playing guitar and singing in "The Feathers" pub on Goodge Street in London, Parfitt's father was approached by an agent from Sunshine Holiday Camp on Hayling Island, who gave Parfitt a performing job. At Sunshine, Parfitt joined Jean and Gloria Harrison - performing at the time as the double act "The Harrison Twins" - to form a cabaret trio called "The Highlights". Following the season, the Harrison Twins' manager Joe Cohen, one of the Keystone Cops, arranged for the Highlights to perform at Butlins in Minehead. It was at Butlins that Parfitt met future Status Quo partner Francis Rossi, who was playing with Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan in a band called "The Spectres" (soon to be renamed "Traffic Jam") — a forerunner to "Quo". After becoming friends with the band, their manager Pat Barlow invited Parfitt to join the group as they needed another singer. Following a heart attack, Parfitt had a quadruple heart bypass in 1997, when he was told by doctors that he could die "at any time" unless he changed his lifestyle of drugs, smoking and heavy drinking. He had a throat cancer scare in December 2005. He suffered a heart attack in December 2011 and underwent surgery on the following day. On 1 August 2014, while on a European tour with Status Quo, Parfitt was hospitalised in Pula, Croatia, forcing the cancellation of six shows on the tour. He had suffered a heart attack while on his tour bus after performing a concert in Austria, and had a stent inserted. He later told the Daily Mail he was pleased to have suffered another heart attack as it had forced him to stop smoking and drinking after 50 years. He said he had been drinking a bottle of wine and smoking 30 cigarettes a day. On 14 June 2016, after playing with the band in Antalya, Turkey, he had another heart attack and was hospitalized. His management described his condition as serious. Parfitt was clinically dead for several minutes, resulting in mild cognitive impairments. The band announced that their ongoing tour would continue with Freddie Edwards, son of bassist John "Rhino" Edwards, as a temporal
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