Singer Greyson Chance Slams ‘Manipulative, Self-Centered’ Ex-Mentor Ellen DeGeneres
When 12-year-old Greyson Chance posted his piano-accompanied cover of Lady Gaga's classic hit "Paparazzi" to YouTube in 2010, his life changed forever.
What he didn't bargain for, though, was the roller coaster his relationship with ex-mentor Ellen DeGeneres would become.
Chance spoke on his journey with the former talk show host in a new interview with Rolling Stone.
After spotting the iconic "Paparazzi" video, DeGeneres famously had Chance on her daytime talk show in May 2010 and signed him to her new record label, eleveneleven.
From there, Chance experienced moderate success, even having Ariana Grande star in his music video, before he eventually took some time off from music.
In the interview, he said that when his record sales began to decline as a teen, DeGeneres "completely abandoned" him and his family after promising to be a source of support.
"I’ve never met someone more manipulative, more self-centered, and more blatantly opportunistic than her," Chance said.
He went on to describe instances in which DeGeneres would "berate people" in front of him and "became domineering and way too controlling." The claims echo a slew of 2020 reports of bullying and a toxic environment on set of the host's show.
He also said, "If she had an opinion of any sort, the whole thing changed," in reference to performances and video shoots.
And one of the wildest parts of the story came when Chance remembered how DeGeneres once yelled at his mom over the phone when he didn't watch Justin Bieber's Never Say Never documentary.
"'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?’" he said DeGeneres complained.
Over the Never Say Never incident, Chance said that DeGeneres told him "Disappointed isn’t even remotely what I’m feeling right now."
He said he realized he was a "pawn" to DeGeneres, used to launch her record label and rejected with no warning when his music failed to garner the type of success she wanted.
After 2012, Chance and his family were no longer in contact with DeGeneres, although he still released music for a few years.
Each time he put a new project out, DeGeneres would invite him on her show and pretend that their relationship was still wholesome and supportive.
When he released Portraits in 2019, he returned to the Ellen show for the last time, where he said the discussion of his coming out felt "cheap" because the two hadn't spoken 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 said.
"I can just see so much PTSD because I’m there holding on for dear life going, ‘I need this TV gig,’" he noted of the appearance, saying DeGeneres was "faking it."
When he was asked to return for Ellen's final run, he turned down the offer, citing his "integrity."
Meanwhile, in the same interview he highlighted how Lady Gaga has remained a source of comfort and genuine encouragement throughout his career, saying, "She has been there for me in the ways that Ellen never was."
Now, Chance has moved on and continues to release music, such as September's Palladium, his third full-length album.
Celebrities You Forgot Starred in Music Videos