Ellen DeGeneres’ former protégé, American singer Grayson Chance, claims that he has “never met someone more manipulative, more self-centered, and more overtly opportunistic than her.”
In the effect of an exploding bomb rolling stone In an interview published Friday, the Oklahoma native, now 25, reflects on his life and career following a viral video of him performing a Lady Gaga song. Paparazzi In front of his classmates, he landed on the now-defunct DeGeneres talk show in May 2010, when he was only 12 years old.
“We just couldn’t believe what was happening,” he told the magazine. “We were so unsure of what we were getting ourselves into, and the person who helped get rid of all this skepticism and chaotic energy was Ellen.”
According to the musician, when they first met, DeGeneres told him: “I will protect you. I’m going to be here for you. We’re going to do it together.”
Soon after, DeGeneres co-founded Eleven Eleven—a record label distributed by Interscope Geffen A&M Records—and signed Chance as her first artist. She also put him in touch with senior managers, a booking agent, a publicist and a brand agent.
In October 2010, Chance released a mini EP. He claimed that as his touring schedule became more demanding, DeGeneres “became overbearing and overly controlling.”
“My whole week, my whole month, my whole year can change [with] one text message from her. It was terrible,” he said, adding that he quickly realized that DeGeneres’ opinion was the only thing that mattered.
While Chance was supporting American singer and actress Miranda Cosgrove on tour, DeGeneres, 64, received an advance copy of Justin Bieber’s album. Never say never documentary. According to the singer, who was admittedly frazzled at the time, DeGeneres wanted him to watch it right now because she wanted him to model his career on that of a mega-successful Canadian pop star.
According to Chance, when he didn’t make watching the movie a priority, DeGeneres called his mother, Lisa, and scolded her.
“What kind of mother are you?” he recalled the comedian allegedly asking his mom before she allegedly told him bluntly, “Disappointment is not even remotely what I feel right now.”
At that moment, the young star thought to herself, “Okay, I’m a pawn in your game.”
Chance said that the widespread rumor of DeGeneres’ anger has permeated every aspect of his career. “She would come and look at the counter, yell at the stylists, scold people in front of me and say, ‘This is what you wear to the show,’” he said. “She just humiliated people.”
When his album and ticket sales plummeted in 2012, Chance claimed that DeGeneres “completely moved away” from him and “totally dumped” him. He also claimed that he tried to contact her to no avail.
Interscope soon dropped him and his team disbanded.
However, a source close to DeGeneres denied Chance’s recollection of the relationship and said the comedian did his best for the young musician, noting that sometimes a career just doesn’t develop.
Despite their aftermath, Chance continued to make occasional appearances on Ellen over the years, knowing what a positive impact the exposure would have on his career. However, he described the set as “a place of active trauma for me”.
“Whenever I came to the show, it was such a fake smile. She didn’t even ask, “How are you? How are you holding up?’ It was like, “Here’s what we’re going to talk about. See you there,” he said. However, on stage, DeGeneres would say things like, “I’m so proud of you.”
During a particularly awkward appearance in 2019, Chance claimed that DeGeneres “hugged” him during the soundcheck.
“And she said, ‘How are you?’ And it just killed me from the inside because I was like, “What do you mean, how the fuck was I? Where have you been?'”
During an interview that day, DeGeneres said she was so proud of Chance for coming out as gay two years ago. The singer this moment seemed “cheap”.
“She had nothing to do with it. … [When I came out,] I haven’t spoken to her for many years…” he said. rolling stone. “It’s so confusing that you are now showing the world that we are so united, we are so good. And behind the scenes, you’re an insanely manipulative person.”
An insider close to DeGeneres noted that Chance made no claims either before or immediately after his appearance on the show in 2019.
Chance said rolling stone“When I watch interviews and look into my eyes, I see so much anxiety. I see so much PTSD because I’m holding on with all my might, saying, “I need this TV gig.” I was 100 percent pretending and [I felt like] she is [was] I’m 100 percent pretending with me too.”
Despite several subsequent invitations to return to the show, including those that would appear during the past two weeks with peak attendance, Chance never returned. Ellen.
“In the first part of my career, I am very grateful to her and this team,” he said. “But the reason I’m here today talking about the album is because I don’t owe her a f*ck because I had to pull up. She was nowhere.
Regarding his musical idol, Lady Gaga, he added, “She was there for me in a way Ellen never was.”
DeGeneres did not immediately respond to Page Six’s request for comment, although she declined Rolling Stone’s request for comment.
This story originally appeared in the New York Post and has been reproduced with permission.