Greyson Chance

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Greyson Chance

Chance performing on We Day in 2010
Background information
Birth name Greyson Michael Chance
Born August 16, 1997 (1997-08-16) (age 13)[1]
Wichita Falls, Texas, U.S.[2]
Origin Edmond, Oklahoma, U.S.[2]
Genres Pop rock
Instruments Piano, vocals
Years active 2010–present
Labels Eleveneleven, Maverick, Geffen

Greyson Michael Chance (born August 16, 1997)[1] is an American pop rock singer and pianist whose April 2010 performance of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" at a sixth-grade music festival became a hit on YouTube,[3] gaining over 37 million views. Two of his original compositions, "Stars" and "Broken Hearts", gained over 4 and 6 million views respectively on his YouTube channel.[4] His debut single, "Waiting Outside the Lines," was released in October 2010.



Personal life

Chance was born on August 16, 1997[1] in Wichita Falls, Texas and now resides in Edmond, Oklahoma.[2] He is the youngest child of Scott and Lisa Chance; he has a 16-year-old sister, Alexa, and a 19-year-old brother, Tanner, both of whom also play music.[5] Chance began playing the piano at the age of 8 and has had three years of piano lessons, but no formal vocal training. His inspiration comes from Lady Gaga; after seeing her performance of "Paparazzi" at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, he said: “I was awestruck by her performance. I love her sense of drama and theatricality, plus she’s an amazing singer and piano player.” Chance also admires Christina Aguilera, the rock band Augustana, R&B singer John Legend, singer-songwriter Elton John and late Beatle John Lennon: “I love artists who are able to communicate their emotions through music and sing from the heart. That’s what I’m hoping to do with my songs .”[2][3]


Chance's "Paparazzi" cover video was posted to YouTube, on April 28, 2010, and for almost two weeks the video generated low views. At least two social websites, and, posted video embeds on May 10, 2010. Ellen DeGeneres first saw the video after Chance's brother, Tanner Chance, wrote to her show suggesting she watch it.[6] The video had about 10,000 views when DeGeneres first saw it;[7] while explaining her reasons for naming her new record label "eleveneleven", she listed as one reason the fact that she first saw Chance's Paparazzi cover on May 11, 2010. Also, she states that 11 is Greyson's soccer jersey number.[8] On the afternoon of May 11, Yahoo! Music reported: "As of this writing, the video has got more than 36,000 views so far, and he's even been invited to perform on The Ellen DeGeneres Show".[3]

On May 12, 2010 Greyson Chance taped an interview and performance of "Paparazzi" for Ellen in Los Angeles.[9] It was broadcast on May 13.[10][11] During the interview, Chance received a phone call from Lady Gaga,[12] who the boy says is his "true inspiration."[13] This first appearance on Ellen was followed by a second appearance on the show, airing May 26, 2010, on which Chance performed his original song "Broken Hearts," received a $10,000.00 award for winning Ellen's Wonderful Web of Wonderment contest, a brand new Yamaha piano, and was announced as DeGeneres's first signed artist to her new recording label eleveneleven.[14] Chance now has many fans on online social sites such as Facebook and Twitter.[15] He is the 28th most subscribed musician of all time on YouTube, with a 286,000+ strong subscriber base, as of January 3, 2011.[16] Greyson Chance also appeared at We Day (also known as Me to We Day 2010) in downtown Toronto at the Air Canada Centre, where he performed "Fire" by Augustana. [17]

In the media

On the morning of May 11, 2010, Chance's cover video of "Paparazzi" was embedded at, which reported finding the video via BuzzFeed, a website that attempts to track and predict emerging viral internet memes.[18] Later in the day, TVGuide,[19] The Huffington Post,[20] and Yahoo! Music's video blog, Video Ga Ga,[3] also posted articles embedding the video; TVGuide mentioned in its article that a FaceBook fan page had already been started for Chance. That afternoon, Ryan Seacrest and DeGeneres linked the video on their Twitter accounts[21][22], as did celebrity Ashton Kutcher[23] later that evening.

On May 12, 2010, DeGeneres' announcement of Chance's booking, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, was broadcast at different times across the U.S. and posted to her website.[24] Wall Street Journal[25] and Los Angeles Times,[26] among other mainstream media, posted articles embedding the video and announcing the forthcoming appearance. That evening, ABC World News broadcast a report on Chance which was introduced by Diane Sawyer, who said the story struck ABC News as "part Billy Elliot and part Glee."[27] That evening, Guy Oseary, an L.A.-based entertainment manager whose clients include Madonna, Demi Moore, and Ashton Kutcher, recommended Greyson's "Paparazzi" video on Twitter.[28]

On May 13, 2010, Chance's appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show was broadcast, and mainstream media, including CBS[29] and People,[30] reported on the appearance. That morning, Ryan Seacrest posted another link on Twitter, this time to the video of Chance appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.[31] Not only has he received attention from DeGeneres and Seacrest but also, on May 14, singer, songwriter, and author David Archuleta linked the video on Twitter claiming that Greyson "is talented."[32]

On May 15, 2010, Greyson Chance created an official MySpace page[33] and an official Twitter[34] account. The same day, Crazed Hits, a music industry "tip-sheet" run by Alex Wilhelm, while citing no sources, reported that Interscope Records had signed 12-year-old Chance to a record deal.[35] That same day, NewsOK posted a video, "Three Things to Know about Greyson Michael Chance", and an article in which Chance's father, was quoted as saying the family would spend the weekend deciding how they wanted to proceed before signing any contracts.[5]

On May 18, 2010, The New York Post reported on the deal with Interscope Records, citing Chance's sister and father as confirming the deal; The Post also reported that calls made to Chance's school were being referred to Guy Oseary.[36] On May 25, Ellen DeGeneres announced that she had formed a record label called eleveneleven and Chance was her first artist.[37] Guy Oseary who manages Madonna's career and Troy Carter, who manages Lady Gaga's career, would be co-managers of Greyson Chance's career, but no partnership with a major recording label had been finalized.[38]

The chronology of events has resulted in media analysis of the marketing phenomenon as separate from musical or biographical elements. On May 15, 2010, The Christian Science Monitor published an article written by Gloria Goodale, a staff writer for the publication; citing Chance's quick rise to media attention and the establishment of various official and fan websites for Chance, as well as concerns raised by music industry analyst Jeff Snyder about the quality of the video itself, Goodale asked “whether there's a Big Media hand behind sixth grader Greyson Michael Chance.”[15] On May 18, 2010, Goodale followed up on this article with a second article for The Christian Science Monitor focusing on the modern "age of media manipulation", which she introduced by saying, "Reports so far suggest that the Greyson Chance YouTube video is legit."[39] On May 18, 2010, ITN News posted a video report to its YouTube channel, in which many of the same questions were raised; highlighting aspects of Chance's "Paparazzi" video, media industry analyst Alan Stevens pointed out the growing inability within our modern media culture to distinguish between videos which are produced by amateurs and videos which are produced by professionals but made to appear amateur in origin.[40]

His debut single title "Waiting Outside the Lines" was released to iTunes on October 26, 2010. It was released digitally in the UK on December 9. The single also contained a studio version of his cover of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi". In early December 2010 he visited both Paris and London, appearing on local radio stations and giving private concerts in both cities.[41][42]

On February 5,[43] Greyson Chance entered the National spotlight again with an appearance/performance of "Waiting Outside The Lines" on the CBS Early Show, while stopping through New York on his tour with Miranda Cosgrove.



Year Single Peak
US Heat
2010 "Waiting Outside the Lines" 12

Music videos

Year Single Director(s) Album
2010 "Waiting Outside the Lines" Sanaa Hamri

Awards and recognition

Year Category Award Result
2010 Choice Web Star Teen Choice Awards Nominated
Icon of Tomorrow J-14 Teen Icon Awards Nominated
Teen Pick: Youtube Artist Hollywood Teen TV Awards Won
2011 Favorite Viral Video Star People's Choice Awards Nominated


  1. ^ a b c "21 Under 21: Greyson Chance". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. September 23, 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Greyson Chance : Biography". Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Little Lord Gaga: Greyson Michael Chance's "Paparazzi" Is A Web Sensation", Yahoo! Music. May 11, 2010.
  4. ^ "Greyson Chance's YouTube channel". Retrieved Feb. 2, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Gaga songsters parents put brakes on fame for now", News OK, The Oklahoman, May 15, 2010
  6. ^ "See Greyson Chance at Home",, May 25, 2010.
  7. ^ "Ellen DeGeneres Starts Record Label Just to Sign Greyson Chance", May 26, 2010.
  8. ^ "Ellen Explains Her New eleveneleven Record Label", May 28, 2010.
  9. ^ "Clip from the Future: 12-year-old Web Sensation Greyson Chance performs on The Ellen DeGeneres Show,, May 12, 2010.
  10. ^ "Greyson Chance performs on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, May 13, 2010.
  11. ^ "Greyson Michael Chance Rocks Ellen", May 13, 2010
  12. ^ "Lady Gaga phones 12-year-old YouTube star", BBC. May 14, 2010.
  13. ^ "Prodigy Greyson Michael Chance on Ellen – Lady Gaga's Paparazzi". National Ledger. May 13, 2010. Retrieved May 19, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Video of the Day: Greyson Chance Returns to 'Ellen'", May 26, 2010.
  15. ^ a b "Is Greyson Chance's Serendipitous YouTube Rise a Ruse?", The Christian Science Monitor, May 15, 2010
  16. ^ "greyson97's Channel"
  17. ^ "Home". Free The Children. 2010-05-21. Retrieved 2010-12-18. 
  18. ^ "Justin Bieber Look-alike Plays Lady Gaga's 'Paparazzi',, May 11, 2010.
  19. ^ "Sixth Grader Wows Crowd with Lady Gaga Cover",, May 11, 2010.
  20. ^ "13-Year-Old's 'Paparazzi' Cover Woos The Ladies", The Huffington Post, May 11, 2010.
  21. ^ "u cant really go wrong singing..." Ryan Seacrest on Twitter, May 11, 2010.
  22. ^ "Never been more excited...", Ellen DeGeneres on Twitter when she announced Chance's forthcoming appearance on her show, May 11, 2010.
  23. ^ "Watch the 1 girl in the back row...", Ashton Kutcher on Twitter, May 11, 2010.
  24. ^ "Greyson Chance's Unbelievable Performance",, May 12, 2010.
  25. ^ "Lady Gaga Fan Greyson Michael Chance to Perform on Ellen" Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2010
  26. ^ "Paparazzi prodigy Greyson Michael Chance booked by Ellen" Los Angeles Times, May 12, 2010
  27. ^ "6th Grader Takes Chance, Becomes Sensation", ABC World News, May 12, 2010.
  28. ^ "Check this video out – 'Paparazzi'", Guy Oseary on Twitter, May 12, 2010.
  29. ^ "Greyson Michael Chance Rocks Ellen", CBS News, May 13, 2010
  30. ^ "Is Greyson Chance the Next Justin Bieber (or Lady GaGa)?",, May 13, 2010.
  31. ^ "The kid just keeps getting better!", Ryan Seacrest on Twitter, May 13, 2010.
  32. ^ "David Archuleta acknowledges Greyson's talent.", David Archuleta on Twitter, May 14, 2010.
  33. ^ "The OFFICIAL MySpace Page of Greyson Chance!", Greyson Chance on MySpace, May 15, 2010.
  34. ^ "My first tweet!", Greyson Chance on Twitter, May 15, 2010.
  35. ^ "Interscope sign YouTube Star",, May 15, 2010.
  36. ^ "Gaga over kid singer: Label signs Lady Lovin Web Phenom, 12", The NY Post, May 18, 2010
  37. ^ "A Message from Ellen", May 25, 2010.
  38. ^ "Search on for the next Justin Bieber", The Toronto Star, June 4, 2010.
  39. ^ Greyson Chance: What is real in an age of media manipulation?", The Christian Science Monitor, May 18, 2010.
  40. ^ "Is Greyson Chance Manufactured?", ITN News on YouTube, May 18, 2010.
  41. ^ "Greyson Chance – Live – Paparazzi de Lady Gaga – Le 6/9 NRJ" 10 December 2010
  42. ^ "Greyson Chance on BBC Radio" 12 December 2010
  43. ^ "Greyson Chance performs and interviews with CBS Early Show" GCZ - February 5th, 2011
  44. ^ "Heatseekers Songs: Week of November 13, 2010 (Biggest Jump)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 14, 2011. 

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