Funeral services will be held Sunday (March 8) for Irby Mandrell, the father and longtime manager of his daughter, Barbara Mandrell. He died Thursday (March 5) in Nashville after being hospitalized earlier this week. He was 84. In a written statement, Barbara Mandrell said, “Our family and some friends were standing around my daddy’s bed at Baptist Hospital when he passed peacefully on to his heavenly home. I’m speaking for all of my family, especially my sisters Louise and Irlene, when I say he was our hero, and we will miss him always.” Irby Mandrell was with his daughter in February when it was announced that she will be one of this year’s Country Music Hall of Fame inductees. In her comments during the press conference, she noted that her father did everything for her during the early days of her career — from booking appearances to driving their bus. She also noted that her father supported her musical ambitions, playing rhythm guitar as she learned to play steel guitar and keeping rhythm while she worked on saxophone exercises. She summed up his contributions by saying, “This is me being honored,” but this is Irby Mandrell being honored, too, because he deserves it.” On a related note, Barbara Mandrell’s Friday afternoon (March 6) interview with Kix Brooks at the Country Radio Seminar will go on as scheduled. Mandrell told CRS organizers she felt that her father would want her to honor her appearance during the Life of a Legend session.