Ellen DeGeneres is doing what any self-respecting ‘American Idol’ judge would do: she’s starting her own record label! The TV talker has named the imprint eleveneleven, and says she was inspired to jump into the record business by her first signed artist: Greyson Chance, the 12-year-old Oklahoman who catapulted to fame mere weeks ago on the strength of his rendition of a Lady Gaga song.
In a simple statement, she said: “Greyson … inspired me to start a record label called eleveneleven. He is my first artist and we are making a record together.”
0diggsdigg In a video message on her website, DeGeneres issues the singer a large check for $10,000.
In an interview airing Wednesday on her show, Ellen tells Greyson, “When I first met you, I said things are going to change … Now [your YouTube hits] are over 30 million.”
The news contradicts earlier reports that Greyson signed with Interscope Records. The major label has not commented publicly about those reports. Greyson’s career is being steered by two very connected managers: Troy Carter (Lady Gaga) and Guy Oseary (Madonna).
On May 13, DeGeneres introduced Greyson to her audience and famously got Gaga to call him live.
“Greyson, you’re so sweet and so talented, and I was so excited that you covered ‘Paparazzi,’” Gaga told the sixth-grade prodigy during the earlier ‘Ellen’ taping. “Everyone loves you so much. Just keep following your dreams and work really hard, and stay away from girls and be focused.”
It seems those dreams of stardom have launched with unprecedented speed for young Greyson-san. Kelly Cheek, Greyson’s music teacher at Cheyenne Middle School in Edmond, Oklahoma, told PopEater, “I have never seen anyone with his level or type of talent. We really hope he comes back to school for the rest of the year, but after this video, who knows what his future holds!”