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How Anna Nicole Smith's daughter and her dad Larry Birkhead remember the late star each year

The former Playboy star died in 2007

anna nicole smith daughter emotional story
Hanna Fillingham
Hanna FillinghamUS Managing Editor
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Anna Nicole Smith tragically died in 2007, leaving behind her baby daughter Dannielynn.

MORE: Anna Nicole Smith's teenage daughter looks so grown up in new pictures

The actress shared Dannielynn with Larry Birkhead, who has raised the now 15-year-old out of the spotlight.

However, there have been several occasions where the proud father has shared photos of his daughter on social media, including over the weekend at a Janet Jackson concert.

VIDEO: Larry Birkhead talks about raising daughter following Anna Nicole Smith's passing

The pair were also photographed at the annual Kentucky Derby in May - an event that has a bittersweet meaning for the pair.

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Larry takes his daughter there every year, and the place has an emotional place in his heart, as it's where he met his daughter's mom.

He does this to honor the past as well as creating new traditions with Dannielynn.

anna nicole smith daughter emotional story

Anna Nicole Smith's daughter Dannielynn with dad Larry Birkhead

Talking to Fox News Digital of the annual affair at the Barnstable Brown Derby Gala for the pre-Derby diabetes fundraiser, he explained: "We had a really great time, and it's kind of been a tradition that we would go every year."

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He continued: "That's where I met Anna Nicole Smith. And it's something that I've taken my daughter back every year since. She's old enough to kind of understand what it is."

He added: "Since I did meet her mom there, it started off just kind of me taking her back and showing her around and kind of letting her know the stories that, you know, this is kind of where I met your mom and things.

"And then it came to kind of people look for my daughter there because I really don't let her do any public events. And so, in all honesty, the Kentucky Derby is kind of the growth chart for Dannielynn."

anna nicole smith

Anna Nicole Smith tragically died months after Dannielynn was born

Dannielynn’s late mother Anna Nicole was an American socialite who found fame in the early 1990s when she married Howard J. Marshall who was 63 years older than her. "I'm not a gold digger," insisted Anna at the time.

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"I could have married him a week after we met or two weeks after we met. I could have married him years before. And I didn't. I didn't. I went out and I made something of myself. And people don't appreciate that. I wanted to marry him because he loved me and he took care of me."

anna nicole smith daughter larry birkhead

Larry primarily keeps Dannielynn out of the spotlight 

Dannielynn was born in 2006 and initially Howard was listed on her birth certificate as the father. However, photographer Larry claimed paternity and a DNA test later confirmed that he was indeed the little girl’s dad.

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Tragically, five months later, in February 2007, Anna was found unresponsive in a Florida hotel room and was pronounced dead in hospital. She was just 39.

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