How Larry Birkhead and Dannielynn Are Honoring Anna Nicole Smith

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Originally appeared on E! Online

For Larry Birkhead and Dannielynn Birkhead, Anna Nicole Smith is always with them in spirit.

While enjoying their annual father-daughter outing at the Kentucky Derby the pair reflected on how they keep the late model's legacy alive than 17 years after her death.

"We talk about her a lot at home, and share stories and funny things," Dannielynn exclusively told E! News' Francesca Amiker on the derby red carpet May 4. "And we have some things around the house that belong to her, like painting with some very choice words written on the back."

Larry joked the colorful language was aimed at him as she was mad at him that day and told him, "Don't come back." But lucky for him, she always asked him to "come back" anyway. (For more from Dannielynn and Larry, tune into to E! News tonight, May 6 at 11 p.m.)

The Kentucky Derby is a very special place for Larry and Dannielynn, as it's not only where Larry and Anna Nicole met in 2003, but also the only place he brings his daughter every year—a tradition that started as an accident.

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"I think the one year the babysitter canceled," the 51-year-old explained. "And then it became I brought her when she was able to kind of walk and do her own thing down the carpet, and then it became a tradition."

Larry Birkhead, Dannielynn Birkhead
Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Churchill Downs

And being able to walk the carpet together is just another way they pay tribute to Anna Nicole.

"I brought her back here for a reason," he added, "because it was something that was special. And it's become a tradition for us out of me meeting her mom here."

But this year's outing marked a special milestone for Danielynn and Larry as it comes just as the 17-year-old prepares to graduate from high school—and she has some big plans for her future.

"I'm going to double major in forensic science and Japanese studies," she said. "I really have loved forensics ever since I was a kid. I would watch Dateline all the time. So I just find it really interesting, and I also love Japan and the culture and the language. So I was like oh, I can do those two things I love."

To watch Dannielynn's grow up before your very eyes, keep reading.

2024

<p>2024</p>

The 17-year-old appears with her dad Larry Birkhead en route to the 2024 Kentucky Derby, and debuts a new lob hairstyle.


2024

<p>2024</p>

The 17-year-old sports a Gianfranco Ferre dress once owned by Janet Jackson and purchased at Julien's Auctions while attending the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala in May 2024.


2023

2023


2022

2022

Anna Nicole Smith's daughter, then 15, sports a colorful look as she poses with dad Larry Birkhead at the 2022 Kentucky Derby.


2022

2022

Larry and Dannielynn appear at the 2022 Barnstable-Brown Gala, a Kentucky Derby pre-party. Dannielynn is wearing the outfit that Janet Jackson wore to the 2003 Barnstable-Brown Gala. Larry said it was purchased in a Julien's Auction, with proceeds benefitting charity.


2021

2021

They're back! Dannielynn and dad Larryreturned to celebrate the Kentucky Derby with these corresponding looks a day before the annual event.


2021

2021

Masked up!


2021

2021

All smiles!


2019

2019

Dannielynn and Larry attend the 2019 Kentucky Derby. He tweeted, "Kentucky Derby time once again. Dannielynn looks pretty in pink in her dress by Junona and her Mom's hat from her unforgettable appearance at The Kentucky Derby in 2004 #KentuckyDerby2019."


2019

2019

The tween is all smiles in a yellow floral dress as she poses with her dad.


2018

2018

Dannielynn and her dad are feeling blue, in a good way!


2017

2017

Everything's coming up roses for the twosome!


2016

2016

At just 10 years old, Dannielynn is already a red carpet veteran!


2015

2015

Think pink! Dannielynn and Larry pick coordinating colors for their festive frocks.


2014

2014

Larry leads the way as Dannielynn smiles for the cameras.


2013

2013

Chim chim cheree! The daddy-daughter duo take inspiration from Mary Poppins.


2012

2012

Flower power! Anna Nicole's mini-me's fascinator is in full bloom.


2011

2011

Who needs a fascinator when you're this fabulous?


2010

2010

She's her mother's daughter, all right!