Greyson Chance kicked off his career thanks to Ellen DeGeneres — but the singer-songwriter says the talk-show host wasn’t there to see things through. Chance opened up about his experiences with DeGeneres to Rolling Stone, revealing that he turned down an opportunity to appear on the final weeks of her talk show due to her allegedly “insanely manipulative” behavior and how she later “completely abandoned” him. DeGeneres signed Chance as the first artist on her record label eleveneleven shortly after having him on her show for his viral cover of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” in 2010; Chance was 12 at the time. Now 25, Chance remembered DeGeneres making him redo an entire already-taped TV performance, forcing him to watch the Justin Bieber documentary Never Say Never during a busy tour, and even forbidding him to wear leather because she was vegan. “It was clear that, ‘Okay, I’m a pawn in your game,’” he said. DeGeneres did not comment for Rolling Stone’s article, but she has previously been accused of being a toxic boss to crew on the Ellen set.
After Chance’s EP, Truth Be Told, Part 1, underperformed, he said DeGeneres “completely removed” herself from his career and would not return his calls. “Whenever I would come on the show, it was such a fake smile,” Chance said. “She wouldn’t even ask, ‘How are you doing? How are you holding up?’ It was just like, ‘Here’s what we’re going to talk about. We’ll see you on there.’” He said The Ellen DeGeneres Show set had become a “place of active trauma for me” — so much that he eventually turned down an appearance during the final weeks of the show earlier this year to promote his new album Palladium. “I had to do it for my integrity,” Chance said. He still credits his early career to DeGeneres, but Chance says he owes “fucking nothing to her” at this point. “I was the one that had to pull myself up,” he said. “She was nowhere to be found.”