He died in February 2014 while on holiday in Mexico with his family.
He credited his father, a singer of gypsy origin, with introducing him to music.
He was born Francisco Sanchez Gomez on December 21st 1947, the son of flamenco guitarist Antonio Sanchez, who was of Gypsy origin and he took his stage name in honour of his mother, Lucia Gomes.
He claimed to have played the guitar from the age of five.
"My father and all my brothers played guitar, so before I picked it up, before I could speak, I was listening,” he said in a 1994 interview published in Guitar Player.
“Before I started to play, I knew every rhythm of the flamenco. I knew the feeling and the meaning of the music, so when I started to play, I went directly to the sound I had in my ear."
His great musical partnership was with the singer Camaron de la Isla, who died in 1992. Together they recorded albums during the 1970s and were credited with inspiring a New Flamenco movement.
He also worked on films by Spanish director Carlos Saura, notably appearing in his 1983 version of Carmen, which won a UK Bafta award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1985.
In 2004, Paco de Lucia was awarded Spain's prestigious Asturias Prize for Art as the "most universal of flamenco artists".
The jury said at the time: "His style has been a beacon for young generations and his art has made him into one of the best ambassadors of Spanish culture in the world."