MAGNOLIA, TX (KTRK) --Darian Eckhardt did not just stand out for her beautiful red hair, it was that voice that friends remember. The 18-year-old already had professional gigs lined up at local cafes in The Woodlands.
"I would go with her and her mom to her little concerts that she would put on in cafes. She was a bright person as a friend and an even better person as an entertainer. She loved what she did. She loved it," said lifelong friend Mikayla Frank.
Even in class at Magnolia High School, Darian shared her talent.
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"I would always tell her to sing to me. She would hum in class while she was doing her work and I was like, 'Can you sing me a song?'" said friend Madi Cook.
Mikayla's family shared quite a bond with Darian's family. Darian's father, a doctor, delivered Mikayla before Darian was even born. Mikayla says she joked that she knew Darian's father longer than her.
Active in drama and singing in the choir, it seemed performing was Darian's destiny. "They would sing in choir and she was the best one there. She did way better than anyone else," Cook recalled.
Friends say Darian made it to the second round of competition on a reality show in Hollywood and that she was destined to be on the stage.
Family and friends said their final goodbyes to Darian during a memorial service Friday in Magnolia.