Photo Credit: Warner Bros
We knew it was just a matter of time before some record producer scooped up 12-year-old YouTube star Greyson Chance -- but we never imagined that producer would be Ellen DeGeneres! Just two weeks ago, the Oklahoma middle schooler rocketed to fame with a soulful piano cover of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi," which was uploaded onto YouTube and featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Last week, the New York Post reported that Chance would be signing with Interscope, the label of his idol Gaga. But on Wednesday's show, Degeneres announced that Chance had inspired her to start her own label, eleveneleven records -- and he'll be the first artist she signs.
To accompany the announcement, Chance appeared on Ellen for the second time -- and played an original pop ballad called "Broken Hearts," which proved he has songwriting chops in addition to his vocal and piano talents. (Watch the video below!) DeGeneres also awarded Chance with a new piano (courtesy of Yamaha) and a $10,000 check for winning her internet talent search by a longshot.
While Greyson Chance seems like a super-smart pick to kick off DeGeneres' label -- he's adorable, more likeable than Justin Bieber and crazy talented -- we wonder if Ellen is thinking with her heart as well as her head. Chance is a painfully sincere Midwestern boy who could easily be taken for a ride by the merciless music business. By launching a small label around him, DeGeneres will be able to protect him from the wolves. Not to mention, it will give her some actual music industry cred to go along with her American Idol gig.
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