Greyson Chance says Ellen DeGeneres 'completely abandoned' him after discovering him as a child

Greyson Chance criticizes Ellen DeGeneres. (Photo: Getty Images)
Greyson Chance, the young musician who rose to fame after his April 2010 performance of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" posted on YouTube went viral and was invited to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, said in a new interview that he experienced trauma in the process sensed host treated him.
"I've never met anyone more manipulative, more self-centered and more blatantly opportunistic than her," he told Rolling Stone in a story published Thursday as he released his new album, Palladium.
Through a rep, DeGeneres declined to comment on the Rolling Stone interview or the Yahoo Entertainment story.
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Chance, who is 25 today, was only 12 when it became an internet buzzword. DeGeneres called a week later and he took his first plane flight from Oklahoma to Los Angeles, California, where he said DeGeneres had assured him and his mother, Lisa, that they "would do this together." The A-list star, who made a foray into the music business, brought Chance together with a whole team of people and, most importantly, signed him to her new music label, distributed by Interscope Geffen A&M Records.
But Chance told the magazine that DeGeneres "got domineering and way too controlling." For example, she determined what he wore and what he didn't wear; no leather as she is vegan.
"She walked in and looked at a boner, yelled at stylists, berated people in front of me and said, 'This is what you wear on the show,'" Chance said. "She just demeaned people."
In one instance, the performer and his mother both said she verbally abused them over the phone after he didn't see the Justin Bieber documentary she asked him to do, although he didn't see it because it was him tired of touring.
Some of Chance's words echo what staffers at DeGeneres' former talk show claimed in a July 2020 report by BuzzFeed. They called Ellen a toxic workplace where fear and intimidation were the norm. DeGeneres later apologized on the show.
“I learned that things happened here that should never have happened. I take this very seriously and want to say I'm so sorry for the people who have been affected," she said. "I know I'm in a privileged and powerful position and I realize that comes with responsibility and I take responsibility for what happens on my show."
In 2012, while Ellen was still on the air, Chance's second album took off and ticket sales plummeted. He was dropped by the record company and his team.
He said at the time that DeGeneres "completely let him down" and wouldn't even return his calls.
"I could not reach you. Couldn't talk to her," Chance said. "Whenever I came on the show, it was such a fake smile. She didn't even ask, 'How are you? How are you holding up?' It was just, 'We'll talk about that. See you there.'"
Eventually someone from her show got in touch with him because he showed up there after leaving the label. (In all, he's been on the DeGeneres stage 10 times over the years, according to IMDb, twice since 2012.) When he performed there in 2015, he said the two didn't speak at all backstage. Nonetheless, he went back in 2019 to promote a new album, Portraits.
A show source pointed out that Chance hadn't filed any complaints at the time.
However, he said he was unhappy, especially on this recent visit.
"She came out during the sound check and she looked at me, hugged me. And she said, 'How are you?' And that just killed me inside," Chance said, "because I was like, 'What do you mean how the fuck have I been? Where have you been?'
He didn't like her saying during their interview that she was proud of him because he had come out as gay since they last spoke.
"She had nothing to do with it. ... [When I came out,] I hadn't spoken to her in years," he said. "This is so messed up that you're now showing the world like we're so close together. we are that good And behind the scenes you are this insanely manipulative person.”
Afterwards, Chance said that while he's grateful for what DeGeneres did for him early in his career, he turned down offers to be a part of Ellen's final season. He knew the move meant less publicity, but he had to do it for his integrity.
Greyson Chance
American singer, songwriter and musician
Ellen DeGeneres
American comedian

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