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Viral Singer Greyson Chance Says Ellen DeGeneres Is ‘Manipulative,’ ‘Self-Centered’ & ‘Blatantly Opportunistic’

Zach F

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The 25-year-old Palladium singer-songwriter, who went wildly viral at the age of 12 performing Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” in front of his schoolmates in early 2010 before appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, is getting candid about what the experience was actually like behind-the-scenes.

After the May 2010 interview, she gifted the singer $10,000 and a new piano, and co-created eleveneleven, a record label distributed by Interscope Geffen A&M Records, and signed him as her first act. She also got him managers Troy Carter and Guy Oseary, a booking agent, publicist and brand agent. He released a mini EP in October, then began touring.

According to Greyson, she became “really invested” in the singer, but also “became domineering and way too controlling.”

“My whole week, my whole month, my whole year could change [with] one text message from her. That was horrible...if she had an opinion of any sort, the whole thing changed,” he explained.

At one point, when he didn't immediately watch Justin Bieber's Never Say Never documentary as she wished, Ellen called his mother.

"I’ll never forget this. 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?’”

Greyson's mother Lisa says there were several times that Ellen “would go through his clothes” and be “a little controlling” about what he wore, saying he was never allowed to wear leather, due to her commitment to veganism.

“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.' She was just degrading to people.”

When his music started to underperform and ticket sales dropped by 2012, she reportedly disappeared and became “completely removed.”

He went on to say he was “completely abandoned” by Ellen.

“I’ve never met someone more manipulative, more self-centered, and more blatantly opportunistic than her,” he continued.

He went on to address future appearances on the show, saying: “When I look at the interviews and I look at my eyes, I can see so much anxiety. I can just see so much PTSD because I’m there holding on for dear life going, ‘I need this TV gig.' I was 100 percent faking it, and [I felt like] she’s 100 percent faking it with me, too.”

Chance says they were offering him an appearance during the show’s final two weeks: “I couldn’t do that, 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.” 

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