- In 2010, Greyson Chance went viral for his performance of "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga.
- He appeared on the former talk show, Ellen, where Ellen DeGeneres signed him to her music label, but later dropped him in 2012.
- After taking a break from music, Greyson returned to the industry in 2019 and has since seen massive success.
- In November 2023, Greyson made a TikTok video that referenced his rise to fame.
How did you first learn of Greyson Chance? Because I remember coming home from school in 2010 to my mom raving about some then-12-year-old boy who performed a Lady Gaga song on Ellen.
I’m not going to lie, I was a little jealous of this kid. I mean, another kid really got to go on Ellen? Meanwhile, I just spent eight hours in school learning P.E.M.D.A.S. This all seemed insane to me because during the 2000s and early 2010s, the internet was still a novelty.
Everyone my age would use their family computer to do homework and instant message each other. Nobody was posting videos and being discovered online back then. It was a very different time indeed — and one TikTok video just brought us back to that wild time.
Below, we do a refresh of who Greyson is and his rise to fame. Plus, what Greyson's up to now.
Who is Greyson Chance and how did he become famous?
In 2010, a video of Greyson Chance performing "Paparazzi" at his sixth-grade music festival went viral on YouTube. Not too long after, the 12-year-old from Edmond, Okla. was tapped to appear on Ellen where host Ellen DeGeneres gifted him $10,000, a new piano, and signed him to her music label Eleveneleven. Five months later, Greyson released his debut single, "Waiting Outside the Lines" and began touring in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
From afar, it appeared that Ellen was helping Greyson live out his dreams. But as he revealed to Rolling Stone in 2022, she wasn't the best mentor and that was a dark part of his life. "I’ve never met someone more manipulative, more self-centered, and more blatantly opportunistic than her," he said, adding that at the time he was working 14 to 16 hour days under her tutelage.
Greyson's debut album, "Hold On 'Til the Night" dropped in 2011 and Ellen continued to micromanage every aspect of his career, including what he wore. "She would come in and look at a rack, yell at stylists, and berate people in front of me," he said, noting that "she was just degrading to people," he said.
In 2012 when his second album took a dip in sales, Ellen finally went quiet. "I couldn’t get ahold of her. Couldn’t talk to her,” he said, claiming she “completely abandoned” him during a difficult time. Greyson later learned that Eleveneleven dropped him.
After that, Greyson moved back home to Oklahoma, having been living in L.A. at the time, and took a hiatus from music. He went on to attend the University of Tulsa. In 2017, he came out as gay on Instagram.
Where is Greyson Chance today? He's released two albums since parting ways with Ellen.
After taking a three-year break from music, Greyson signed with Arista Records & Sony Music in 2019 and released his third album "Portraits" followed by "Palladium" in 2022.
Greyson is currently working on his fifth album as of October 2023 according to Instagram, but it's unclear when it will be released.
In November 2023, Greyson shared a TikTok video that referenced his past. TikTok creator @dasilvadakid had asked in a video, "Remember the days when going viral got you on Ellen?"
Greyson stitched her video and shared his reaction. In the clip, he didn't say a word, but took a deep breath, put his phone down on the bathroom sink, and slowly lowered himself to the floor until he was out of sight.
"This guy remembers!" someone teasingly wrote in the comments.
However, most of the comments came from users who remembered Greyson's glory days. "Your performance of "Paparazzi" changed the trajectory of my life," wrote one user.
Another person claimed that they listen to Greyson's version of "Paparazzi" more than Lady Gaga's version.
One comment just read: "Greyson Chance is my Roman empire. I think about that 'Ellen' interview more than I should."