Grayson Chance‘s life changed in 2010 after his performance of Lady Gaga‘s “Paparazzi” at a school music festival went viral when he was just 12 years old. As many may recall, he was invited onto The Ellen DeGeneres Show to discuss his newfound fame, after which Ellen, now 64, gifted him a new piano and created a record label just so she could launch his promising music career. The pre-teen seemed to have it all and was dubbed the “next Justin Bieber” by his admirers. However, Greyson is now opening up about the less-than-glamorous time in his life and his relationship with Ellen, whom he described as a “manipulative” “self-centered”, and “blatantly opportunistic” individual.
In an interview published by Rolling Stone on Sept. 22, Greyson, 25, claimed that as soon as he signed with Ellen, she became an overbearing “hidden eye” in his life. “My whole week, my whole month, my whole year could change [with] one text message from her,” he recalled. He claimed she would cancel performances if they were not up to her standards and even got picky with his clothes. “She would come in and look at a rack, yell at stylists, berate people in front of me and say, ‘This is what you’re wearing on the show,'” he noted. “She was just degrading to people.”
In another example of Ellen’s alleged controlling tendencies, he claimed she got upset with him and his mother when he did not immediately watch Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never movie as a way to study how to be a successful touring artist. “I’ll never forget this,” he noted before he told the story of a phone conversation he overheard between Ellen and his mother. “I just remember hearing on the other side of the phone, just yelling [and] Beratement: ‘What type of mother are you? Do you realize that I went out of my way to get this for you, and he can’t sit down and watch it?’”
However, Greyson alleged Ellen’s demeanor changed when his sophomore album, Truth Be Told, Part 1, underperformed. He claimed the controversial television host immediately dropped him and made him feel “completely abandoned”. He claimed, “I couldn’t get a hold of her. Couldn’t talk to her. Whenever I would come on the show, it was such a fake smile. She wouldn’t even ask, ‘How are you doing? How are you holding up?’ It was just like, ‘Here’s what we’re going to talk about. We’ll see you there.’”
Greyson said the final straw for him was when he appeared on Ellen’s talk show in 2019 after he returned to music following a hiatus to attend college. He came out as gay two years earlier, and Ellen told him how “beautiful” his story was. “She had nothing to do with that,” he slammed. “[When I came out,] I hadn’t spoken to her in years… That’s so messed up, that you’re now showing the world as if we’re so tight. We’re so good. And behind the scenes, you are this insanely manipulative person.”
He later claimed he was offered a spot not once but twice on The Ellen DeGeneres Show after his 2019 interview, one of those times being during the show’s final two weeks, when viewership would be high. “I couldn’t do that,” he confessed. “So I turned down a national-TV gig on the eve of an album release, which is probably not a smart thing to do, but I had to do it for my integrity.”
Greyson, who made his film debut earlier this year, released his album, Palladium, on Thursday. In addition to celebrating the release, Greyson took to Instagram to explain why he decided to come forward about Ellen two years after she was under fire for allegedly mistreating people on set and creating a toxic work environment. “I’ve been wanting to tell this story for a long time, and was repeatedly told not to.” Writing this album forced me to look dead in the eyes of my past, and reconcile with everything I went through as a kid,” he wrote. “I feel a tremendous weight off my shoulders now that the truth is out.”
HollywoodLife reached out to Ellen’s team for a comment on Greyson’s accusations and has not yet heard back.