Greyson Chance, who first appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show before signing to DeGeneres’ eleveneleven label in 2010, is alleging that the daytime talk show host “completely abandoned” him after overseeing much of his early career.
Chance, who grew up in Oklahoma, rose to viral fame in 2010, when a video of him performing Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” at a school talent show hit YouTube.
That same year, the clip ― which currently has over 71 million views ― helped land him an invite to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
In an interview with Rolling Stone published Thursday, Chance said that when he and his mother arrived in Los Angeles, DeGeneres told his mom she’d never have to work again in her life.
“I’m going to protect you. I’m going to be here for you. We’re going to do this together,” Chance said DeGeneres told him.
Rolling Stone reported that DeGeneres gave Chance $10,000, a new piano, and signed him to her then-new record label, eleveneleven.
However, after joining DeGeneres’ label, Chance said she became “domineering and way too controlling,” making decisions for him down to his stage outfits. “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 said. “She was just degrading to people
“My whole week, my whole month, my whole year could change [with] one text message from her,” Chance, now 25, told the publication. “That was horrible.”
Chance said DeGeneres “completely abandoned” him after his 2012 EP, “Truth Be Told, Part 1,” underperformed and he was dropped from her label.
“I couldn’t get ahold of her. Couldn’t talk to her,” he told the outlet.
A rep for DeGeneres has not commented on Chance’s claims, but a source close to the Ellen DeGeneres Show team told PEOPLE they “went above and beyond to help set him up for success, but in business that doesn’t always work out, and his career did not take off.”
While Chance appeared on the show multiple times following DeGeneres’ alleged behavior, he told Rolling Stone that he refused to be a guest for her final two weeks on air, a decision he made for his own “integrity.”
“She came out during soundcheck and she looked at me, hugged me,” he recalled of a 2019 appearance on the show in which he came out as gay. “And she said, ‘How have you been?’ And that just killed me inside because I was like, ‘What do you mean how have I f—ing been? Where have you been?
Some on social media suggested Chance’s accusations may be auspiciously timed, as the musician dropped a new album, “Palladium,” on Friday. In a video posted to TikTok on Thursday, the musician acknowledged the criticism but nonetheless stood behind his claims.
“I am grateful for her giving me a start,” he said. But “I am so continuously inspired by people that tell the truth and that muster up the bravery, to tell the truth when it is difficult, when it’s non-convenient and when it’s painstaking. That’s why I did this, because I needed to tell the truth.”