He died from a severe infection after going to hospital on Thursday following complications to a shoulder injury.
Parfitt’s musical partnership with Francis Rossi, which spanned five decades, made Status Quo one of British rock’s most enduring acts.
He had been due to launch a solo career with an album and autobiography planned for 2017.
Status Quo found global success with hits including Rockin’ All Over The World and Whatever You Want.
‘He was a mechanic and I was the receptionist’: Your memories of Rick Parfitt
In a statement, Parfitt’s manager Simon Porter said the family was “devastated” to announce the musician’s death.
“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.”
Parfitt had suffered a series of health problems including having to undergo a quadruple heart bypass in 1997.
In October, he said he would no longer be performing with his band after suffering from a heart attack in the summer.
Drummer Jeff Rich, who played in Status Quo with Parfitt for 16 years, said he was “just a really good musician, very under-rated, great rhythm player”, but his health problems were “a big issue for him”.
“I’m sure he wanted to give his all on stage and eventually he just couldn’t do it any more,” he told the BBC.
‘Rocked our world’
Fellow rockers have been quick to pay tribute to Parfitt.
Queen guitarist Brian May tweeted: “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.”
Former Ultravox frontman Midge Ure tweeted: “Dreadfully sad. Lovely man. Thoughts go out to his family and friends.”
Ure co-organised Live Aid in 1985, which was memorably opened by the Quo performing Rockin’ All Over The World.
With his flowing blond locks, denim gear and Fender Telecaster, Rick Parfitt was one of rock’s most recognisable guitarists.
His partnership with Francis Rossi became the core of Status Quo, one of Britain’s most enduring bands.
Their brand of boogie-woogie rock survived changes in musical fashion and made them one of the best-loved live acts of their generation.
As well as driving the Quo sound on stage, Parfitt penned many of the band’s biggest hits.
Read more about Parfitt here
Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp tweeted: “RIP you lovely man Rick Parfitt! You rocked all around the world and back again! One of rock’s great characters you will be missed.”
Singer Boy George also paid tribute on Twitter: “R.I.P Rick Parfitt. Love Status Quo. My thoughts are with the band and Rick’s family.”
And novelist Ian Rankin wrote that he would be “playing air guitar” in memory of Parfitt.