Greyson Michael Chance (born August 16, 1997) 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, gaining over 40 million views. Two of his original compositions, "Stars" and "Broken Hearts", gained over 5 and 7 million views respectively on his YouTube channel. His debut single, "Waiting Outside the Lines", was released in October 2010. His current single is "Unfriend You."
Chance was born on August 16, 1997 in Wichita Falls, Texas and currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma. He is the youngest child of Scott and Lisa Chance; he has a sixteen-year-old sister, Alexa, and a nineteen-year-old brother, Tanner, both of whom also play music. Chance began playing the piano at the age of 8 and has had three years of piano lessons; however, he had no formal vocal training.
Of his inspiration, Chance said, "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." He is emboldened by 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 is also inspired by Christina Aguilera, rock band Augustana, R&B singer John Legend, singer-songwriter Elton John, and John Lennon, of The Beatles fame.
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 got 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 $10,000.00 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.
Chance now has many fans on online social sites such as Facebook and Twitter. He is the 28th most subscribed musician of all time on YouTube, with a 286,000 subscriber base, as of January 3, 2011. 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.