Caroline Kraddick’s love of music and heart for philanthropy help keep her father’s legacy alive.
This article first appeared in Texas Lifestyle Magazine on October 3, 2019.
As the daughter of Dallas-based radio DJ Kidd Kraddick and named after Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” Kraddick grew up surrounded by music. When she decided to pursue her pop star dreams, no one was more encouraging than her parents.
She refused to use the Kraddick name to help her get ahead in the industry. Those musical aspirations, though, were interrupted after the unexpected and heartbreaking death of her father in 2013.
Kraddick took over for her father and dove head first into the CEO position of Kidd’s Kids, a charity he founded in 1991. However, this warm-hearted Texan prefers the title “Chief Happiness Officer” as the charity grants wishes of children with life-altering and life-threatening conditions by helping provide them hope and happiness. Kidd’s Kids takes children and their families on all-expenses-paid vacations every year to Walt Disney World.
In 2018, Kraddick took another shot at pop stardom and auditioned for American Idol, making it to Hollywood Week. This didn’t discourage the wide-ranging and dynamic powerhouse.
Caroline’s musical style is the bluesy sound of soul meeting the pop music world. In October 2018, she released her debut song, “This Love,” with co-writers Ryan Cabrera and Jamie Hartman, followed up by the single, “Over.”
Kraddick’s latest single, “Stronger,” will be released October 4.
Where does your musical inspiration come from?
My new single “Stronger” is very close to my heart because I wanted to write a song about the children with my charity, but I’ve heard so many cheesy “anthems” and I didn’t want my song to be that way. I started pulling from personal moments I’ve been through that have made me “stronger” and I wrote words that I would want to hear as a listener that would cheer me up and help me to continue whatever it is I’m fighting.
Do you plan to focus on your music career full-time?
It’s been a wonderful experience to take the time and write and find out who I am as a person and what I want to say as an artist. I’ve created a beautiful balance where I can perform frequently and always talk about Kidd’s Kids at every performance and spread awareness for the charity through my songs.
How has Kidd’s Kids changed your life?
Kidd’s Kids saved my life. A week before my dad passed, I was laid off, so when everything went down with my dad, I was unemployed. Now looking back, I realize that that happened so I could prepare to take over the charity full time. It gave me a reason to get out of bed every morning and a passion that was bigger than my grief I was experiencing at the time.
What is your favorite part about the Kidd’s Kids Disney trip?
Seeing the kid’s faces when they see Magic Kingdom for the first time. I always make sure I’m around families when they walk into the park and see Cinderella’s castle and experience all the wonders of Disney. We attend the Lion King show with our kids every year and they usually bring up some of our kiddos when they sing “Circle of Life.” Seeing the characters pushing our kids in their wheelchairs or holding their hands makes me cry every time.
If you could be any Disney character, who would you be?
The first answer that came to my head was Ariel from the Little Mermaid because it’s my favorite Disney movie but I know I would NEVER trade my voice for legs so I’m going to say Elsa because she is a lady-boss!
Cover photo courtesy Caroline Kraddick
Lisa Davis lives in Austin and is the Editorial Assistant for Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Concordia University Texas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Public Relations.