During the past few days, we have witnessed history in the making as a mild-mannered 6th grader from Edmond, Greyson Michael Chance, plopped his stuff at his YouTube channel on April 28, 2010. What he posted there was his 6th grade chorus performance, perhaps competition, in a church in Edmond, of his rendition of Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi and a couple of tunes he’d written himself. Little did he know that only two weeks later, today, on May 13, he’d be appearing on the Ellen Degeneres Show, shown below …
As of the moment this initial post is made, Greyson’s YouTube channel has had 9,598,682 views, and that does not count the proliferation of his Paparazzi performance at numerous other locations. What we are witnessing is nothing less than the formation of an Oklahoma City metro (Edmond) performing artist star in his budding time.
The prelude to the appearance on Ellen was his April 12 appearance at the talent show featuring sixth-grade vocal students from all five Edmond middle schools at a church in Edmond. Greyson was the event’s final performer. The version on his own YouTube channel is kind of jerky, visually … but the one below is a bit more stable even if it doesn’t catch his bow to the audience at the end …
From Entertainment Weekly, we read:
Sixth-grade ‘Paparazzi’ kid’s choir teacher sings his praises
by Simon Vozick-Levinson
Before Greyson Michael Chance’s cover of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” became a YouTube smash, the Oklahoma sixth-grader was already a star in Kelly Cheek’s classroom. “He’s an amazing student to have,” Cheek, who’s been Chance’s choir teacher at Edmond, Okla.’s Cheyenne Middle School since January, tells the Music Mix. “He’s always playing the piano in class. The kids are always wanting him to sing for them. He’s the reason why I wanted to teach, because of kids like him.”
Chance represented Cheyenne at an annual choir festival for Edmond’s five middle schools this April 12. Cheek says he was originally planning to cover 3OH!3?s “Still Around” before a last-minute switch to “Paparazzi.” “He decided about a week before…He brought that song in one day after school and sang it for me. I just said, ‘You have to do that one! It’s amazing!’”
Chance’s Gaga cover (watch it again after the jump) has made him into an overnight celeb. He’s already appeared on new fan Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show. And naturally, he’s the talk of Cheyenne Middle School. “It’s been insane,” laughs Cheek. “Our phones have been ringing off the hook. The kids are so excited, we can hardly get them to do anything but talk about Greyson.”
Even People Magazine has jumped on the bandwagon and wonders, “Is Greyson Chance the Next Justin Bieber (or Lady GaGa)?” The article reads:
It’s the talent show performance heard around the world.
At his school’s Sixth Grade Festival, 12-year-old Greyson Chance took to the piano and performed an amazing, dead-on rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” to the shock and awe of his classmates – and more than 8 million viewers on YouTube.
So who is this new tween phenom with a story – and haircut – to rival that of Justin Bieber?
The Edmond, Okla., resident says he is a pianist (he’s taken lessons for three years) and songwriter (he’s penned two original tunes, “Stars” and “Broken Hearts”) but not a trained singer.
On Thursday, Chance told Ellen DeGeneres that he’s “never taken a voice lesson,” though he certainly has an innate feel for music. Of his own songs, he told her, “I write my songs for meaning. I either live them or feel them.”
And Lady Gaga? “She’s probably my number one inspiration,” said Chance. “I love her individuality.”
He’s loving all the attention he’s attracted, but like any good rock star, he’s taking it in stride. “Let’s just say I’ve gotten a couple of numbers and made some new friends,” he joked of his smitten classmates.
But Chance had his moment to be star-struck as well, when Lady Gaga herself called into the Ellen show to congratulate him.
Calling the singer “Miss Gaga,” Chance grinned and blushed when getting advice from the pop star. “Be focused,” she told him, and “stay away from girls.”
Quite naturally, the local media has been all over it. Kelly Ogle of News 9 added his 2 cents here. See Bam’s Blog and today’s Oklahoman article, as examples, and all of this being said with nary a nay-saying word.
Oh, by the way, when I posted the initial part of this article yesterday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m., Greyson’s YouTube channel had 9,598,682 hits. As I post this update at 7:03 a.m. on May 20 (about 12 hours later), the number of hits was up to 11,032,294.
One more thing. I’ll be more than mildly surprised if, when Lady Gaga performs at the Ford Center on July 20, 2010, we don’t see our new budding star on stage for an encore performance of his own.