TOP 25 UNDER 25
Leah Sykes Durrett
Connect on Social: @leahgracesykes
Leah Sykes Durrett grew up in Jacksonville, FL with her 4 siblings. At the age of 12, she bought her brother’s guitar from him for $50 and began writing music. Immediately she knew music was her calling. She played her first show when she was 15, covering both Monsters by Eminem (all 3 rap verses) and Don’t Know Why by Norah Jones. With a wide range of interests and influences, Leah knew her passion had the potential to span countrywide and allow her to meet people from all different walks of life.
In 2013, she competed in her first pageant, hoping to harness her stage presence for a future career in entertainment. What she didn’t expect was to be crowned Miss Florida’s Outstanding 2013 and to go on to win the title of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2014. Leah’s year as MAOTeen opened the door for her to travel the country, spreading not only her passion for singing but also her passion for people. Having visited Golisano Children’s Hospital, The US Dream Academy, and so much more, Leah has carried that heart of service beyond her year in the world of pageantry. At 18, she moved to Nashville to continue her pursuit of a career in the music industry. Thanks to the many scholarships earned through the MAOTeen program, Leah attended her dream school of Belmont University and graduated in the summer of 2017.
She has continued to use her love of music to partner with incredible organizations such as Caring Hearts,To Write Love On Her Arms, and Tennessee Alliance for Kids. At just 23, Leah has accomplished many bucket list items, such as opening for Lizzo, Jon Bellion, and Louis Tomlinson, however, she is most proud to be a wife to her husband Devin and dog mom to Sasi and Miso.