DALLAS –– Friends, family and loyal listeners will fill American Airlines Center Thursday for a tribute to Kidd Kraddick, the 53-year old Dallas radio legend who died last month of an enlarged heart caused by cardiac disease.
In her first public interview since her famous father's death, Caroline Cradick says her father did not know he had heart disease.
"He had no idea, no symptoms," says Cradick. "And after it happened, I Googled it I wanted to know if there were any symptoms that he was complaining of and one of the biggest symptoms is sleep deprivation. And he was getting up at four in the morning ever since he was 20 years old. I'm not saying that was the biggest factor, but I'm sure it had something to do with it."
Caroline Cradick says the past two-and-a-half weeks since her father's passing have been a mixture of love and grief. She credits the support from fans for helping her stay strong.
Kraddick's 23-year old daughter says her dad, beloved by so many, was actually her greatest fan. She learned of her dad's death, while in New York –– the day before she was to audition for thCare television show, "The Voice."
"That was a huge deal for him as well," said Cradick. "And I was looking at my phone and the last text he sent me was, 'Good luck baby. I love you and I'm so proud of you.' He was just so excited that I was going."
The audition never happened.
"And I know he is so ticked off right now because he wanted me to audition so bad," laughs Cradick, "But my audition was at 6 a.m. the next day so I was in no condition or place to go."
Cradick says she never let her dad pull strings to launch singing career, even though he wanted to.
"I would always take his advice, but I didn't want him to pull out those connections because I wanted to do it by myself," she said.
Cradick has put those dreams on hold, for now, to help insure her father's foundation, Kidd's Kids, lives on. The charity was created to send sick kids on a fantasy filled vacation.
Few know it was also created in her honor.
Cradick says at seven months pregnant, her parents were warned she may be born with a serious brittle bone syndrome. When she was born healthy, they wanted to pay that blessing forward to families that weren't as fortunate.
So does Caroline Cradick.
"And that's kind of a personal side so I feel obligated to keep it going," she said. "This was the biggest gift he could have left me was this organization. And I just feel so fortunate to have my name on it. Everyone keeps saying, who better to run Kidd's Kids than Kidd's kid? So, that's very important and very cool."
The public memorial will include live music, video tributes and a performance by Caroline Cradick. The "Tribute to Kidd" will begin at 5:30 p.m. on AT&T Plaza outside of the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Video of the event will also be streamed free on KiddTV.com.