Tribute to Kidd Kraddick gives fans a chance to say goodbye

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on August 16, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 16 at 10:44 AM

DALLAS -- Just before she took the stage, Kidd Kraddick's daughter, Caroline, stood to the side and took a deep breath.

It looked as if she was drawing strength from somewhere deep within. Or perhaps, she was drawing strength from someone else.

"He'd want laughing and smiles," she said of the man she called "Daddy."

"It's a celebration of his life."

Hundreds of Kidd Kraddick's fans gathered at a public memorial on AT&T Plaza at Victory Park. They laughed as Kidd's co-hosts laughed. They sang as some of Kidd's favorite musicians - Tim Halperin and Ben Folds - played piano and sang. They screamed when the Jonas Brothers took the stage to share their memories of Kidd.

And they choked back tears as Caroline wiped her eyes.

"I was in the courier business for years, so I listened to him day after day after day for so many years -- he was like a member of the family," said Cynthia Likness of Sachse, who came to the memorial wearing a Kidd's Kids T-shirt.

Kidd Kraddick's foundation raised money for children with disabilities.

"He made an impact on so many people," she said.

Video tributes played, with people sharing favorite memories of Kidd. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban spoke, telling the crowd Kidd Kraddick taught him a lot.

"There was nobody - nobody - who made everybody around him feel better than Kidd Kraddick," he said. Cuban said they were friends for many years, "and along the way, he taught me a lot."

The Jonas Brothers told the crowd, as Dallas natives, Kidd Kraddick was special to them. They recalled doing one of their first radio interviews ever with him, when he reminded them to always value family.

"We say thank you, Kidd, for all of you hard work, we love you, and we will miss you very very much," they said.

Tim Halperin and Ben Folds each sang some of his favorite songs.

Folds' song "The Luckiest" meant so much to Kidd, he had the lyrics tattooed on his chest. But Caroline Kraddick said "Still Fighting" was her father's all-time favorite. When Folds sang that, she was visibly shaken.

But she regained her composure, and took the stage as the tribute came to a close. There was one song she wanted to end things on. She sang it by herself and it gave many people goosebumps.

It was "(Somewhere) Over the Rainbow."

"I played Dorothy [from the Wizard of Oz] when I was in eighth grade," she said. "He went to every rehearsal, taking notes for me, helping me with my lines; it was kind of our family's motto."

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