At first glance Sydney Lett could be any outgoing young woman who offers a polite smile or kind word as she sips her favorite Starbucks blend to start her day. Tucked behind a shade of red lipstick, however, lies a grit and determination to pursue a musical dream and a Mustang few would expect.
Country music performer Sydney Lett counts many well known artists among friends, but it’s her 1966 Mustang “Audrey” who is always by her side.
“I was born and raised in Iowa and have always had a love for where I’m from,” Lett begins. “The people, the culture, the corn, the cars and, of course, the music were staples in my life.” Crediting “mom and grandpa,” Sydney recalls trips to local cruise nights and car shows where she first fell in love with classic muscle.
“I spent a lot of time out in the garage working on cars with my grandpa trying to learn anything he was willing to teach me,” says Lett. “I knew one day I would own one like the ones I fell in love with back then.”
Always close to her Iowa roots, Sydney credits her family with her love of classic cars and country music.
For a 10 year old girl from Iowa, collecting Hot Wheels would have to do for a bit longer. Fortunately, Sydney would discover that bending wrenches and rebuilding carbs weren’t her only talents. “As much as I always loved cars, I always knew that I wanted to pursue music too, and at 10 years old I started guitar lessons.”
Pre-teen influences were mostly Disney related with a bit of Billy Joel and “Don Henley from my momma” Lett laughs, but it was Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low places” that set the hook.
As if scripted, Lett would absorb music like a sponge. “I listened to every Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton song I could and burned CD’s of classic country songs that I listened to relentlessly. I ended up trying out for a local talent show and getting to perform at my state fair, which sparked the fire in me to want to be onstage every second!”
From the sweet musical tones of a rising star to the throaty rumble of her beloved Mustang, the multitalented Lett garners plenty of attention on stage and on the road.
A future move to Nashville at 16 proved to further Sydney’s resolve. “I learned so much about myself personally and as a performer while falling in love with songwriting.” All Lett needed now was a muse.
As country songs go, you’d be hard pressed to find a more fitting combination than a pretty girl in a classic car. “I remember many days feeling like the cool kid when my grandma would pick me up from school in her red Mustang GT with the top down, and we’d squeal the tires pulling out of the parking lot,” Lett confesses.
“I knew one day I would have one of my own and I was fortunate enough to find her a few years back.” Syd’s “C code” 289-powered 1966 Mustang affectionately dubbed “Audrey,” sports a custom Wimbledon White hue with a bold Silver smoke stripe up and over.
From a young girl singing classic lines of country music superstars, to the classic lines of Ford's famous pony car, Sydney Lett continues to write the soundtrack of her life .
Vintage Torque Thrust wheels keep oversized rubber planted firmly to the back roads while the stock cockpit transports Lett to a time when Lorretta Lynn and Dolly Parton could have crackled across her radios speakers.
“I haven’t taken as many [back roads] as I would like to yet,” said Lett, but does concede to “seeing what she’ll do” shortly after bringing her home. “From the little town I lived in outside of Nashville, it was only about a thirty mile drive on a little two lane highway to the state line. I won’t admit to driving over the speed limit, but I will say, for an old girl, she doesn’t even shake at passing speeds.”
Like the Mustang itself which came from humble beginnings, Sydney Lett has only just begun to fly. “I’ve been lucky enough to perform with or open for so many of my favorite artists.” Those include: Blake Shelton, Joe Nichols, Diamond Rio, Leann Rimes, Jon Pardi, and Sammy Kershaw just to name a few.
And if you count among those who believe country music and racing go hand in hand, well this country girl, who now calls North Carolin home, has got you covered there too! “I’ve been lucky enough to call NASCAR my second family ever since singing the National Anthem at the Iowa Speedway as a twelve year old,” says Lett.
When not performing, Sydney is proud to call her NASCAR friends her second family.
“I met Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and some of the other young drivers close to my age when they were racing in the NASCAR K&N Series, and ended up becoming close with so many people throughout racing who have ended up being my very best friends.”
Through music Lett says she hopes people “will see the girl she was, the woman she is and the person I wish to become.” She continued, “I’ve always related songs to moments or chapters of my life and my dream is to release pieces of my heart out into the world and for my albums to become that for someone else.”
Willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, Lett is at home lending a hand building race cars as she is promoting her music.
As with her Mustang, what you see is what you get with Sydney Lett. Personality and sass, a little glam and mischief and a whole lot of talent still to be discovered from this rising star.
Do you have a story that needs to be told? Email JP Emerson to share your story.