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Greyson Michael Chance (born August 16, 1997) is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. His April 2010 performance of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" at a sixth-grade music festival went viral on YouTube, gaining widespread attention and over 54 million views as of June 2015, as well as an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show shortly afterward. Two of his original compositions, "Stars" and "Broken Hearts", gained over six and eight million views respectively on his YouTube channel. His debut single, "Waiting Outside the Lines", was released in October 2010. Chance's debut album, Hold On 'Til the Night, was released on August 2, 2011.
Two years after releasing his last single, Chance is set to release his second EP, Somewhere Over My Head, in 2016. His debut single from the EP, "Thrilla in Manila" was released on August 11, 2014. The second single "Meridians" was released on March 24, 2015. The third single "Afterlife" was released on October 29, 2015. His fourth single, "Hit and Run", will be released on February 5, 2016.
Chance was born on August 16, 1997 in Wichita Falls, Texas, and currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma. The youngest child of Scott and Lisa Chance, he has an older sister, Alexa, and an older brother, Tanner, both of whom also make music. Chance began playing the piano at age 8 and had three years of piano lessons. The family is of German, English, Polish and Czech ancestry.
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, GossipBoy.ca and reddit.com, 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. The video had about 10,000 views when DeGeneres first saw it. 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. On the afternoon of May 11, Yahoo! Music reported: "As of this writing, the video has had more than 36,000 views so far, and he's even been invited to perform on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
On May 12, 2010 Greyson Chance taped an interview and performance of "Paparazzi" for Ellen in Los Angeles. It was broadcast on May 13. During the interview, Chance received a phone call from Lady Gaga, who the boy says is his "true inspiration." 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 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. Chance now has many fans on online social sites such as Facebook and Twitter. 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.
He appeared in Season 2 Episode 1 of the Fox comedy Raising Hope as a young Jimmy Chance. He played young Jimmy as a piano prodigy before being hit on the head with a golf club, causing him to forget his gift.
In January 2014 Chance performed at the Sundance Film Festival. 2
In the media:
On the morning of May 11, 2010, Chance's cover video of "Paparazzi" was embedded at RyanSeacrest.com, which reported finding the video via BuzzFeed, a website that attempts to track and predict emerging viral internet memes. Later in the day, TVGuide,The Huffington Post, and Yahoo! Music's video blog, Video Ga Ga, 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, as did celebrity Ashton Kutcher 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.Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times, 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."
On May 13, 2010, Chance's appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show was broadcast, and mainstream media, including CBS and People, 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. 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."
On May 15, 2010, Greyson Chance created an official MySpace page and an official Twitter 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. The 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.
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. On May 25, Ellen DeGeneres announced that she had formed a record label called eleveneleven and Chance was her first artist. 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.
The chronology of events has resulted in media analysis of the marketing phenomenon separately from musical or biographical elements. On May 15, 2010, The Christian Science Monitor published an article by staff writer Gloria Goodale; 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." On May 18, 2010, Goodale followed this up with a second article 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." 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.
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.
On February 5, 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.
On May 17, 2011 his new single "Unfriend You" was released to iTunes.
On April 9, he started the Waiting 4U tour with Australian pop/R&B singer Cody Simpson in Ivins, Utah. The tour ended on May 18, 2011 in Portland, Oregon.
On May 23, Greyson visited The Ellen DeGeneres Show to premiere his new single, "Unfriend You". After the performance, Greyson revealed a solid release date for his upcoming debut album, Hold On 'Til the Night, which was released on August 2, 2011. The music video features a cameo from Victorious star, Ariana Grande.
On September 15, he again appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about his album, and also revealed that he had taken his first steps into acting, portraying a younger version of Jimmy Chance, the protagonist of Raising Hope, in the series' second season premiere.
In November 2011, Greyson undertook a tour of Southeast Asia to promote his album, which had just been released in the region. Starting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where in addition to a showcase performance he was invited to perform at the Anugerah Industri Muzik (Malaysian Music Industry Awards) show (the first foreign artist so invited since 1999) with Malaysia YouTube Sensation, Najwa Latif, Greyson also gave performances in Singapore; Kota Kinabalu (Borneo, Malaysia); Manila, Philippines; and Jakarta, Indonesia.
In March 2012, Greyson returned to Asia, this time with his full four-part band, and gave full concert performances in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, and Manila, before going on without the band on a promotional tour to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Bangkok, Thailand. In early July he was back in the region for promotional and TV appearances in Hong Kong and Changsha (Hunan Province, China). In August he performed at the MTV-CCTV Mandarin Music Awards show in Beijing, and won the award for Most Popular New International Artist of the Year.
In November 2012, after releasing his new EP, Truth Be Told Part 1, he again returned to Asia for a promo tour starting in Kota Kinabalu (Borneo, Malaysia) to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Singapore and Manila, Philippines.
As of 2014, Greyson is currently in the process of writing and recording his EP, Somewhere Over My Head. On August 4, Chance announced that the leading single "Thrilla In Manila" from his upcoming EP Somewhere Over My Head would be released the following week. The second single "Meridians" was released on March 24, 2015. The third single "Afterlife" from his upcoming EP was released on October 29, 2015.