When Ellen DeGeneres was announced as the fourth judge for American Idol, a lot of us released a noise of confusion not unlike one Scooby Doo might make. After all, she’s a comedian and talk show host, not a British record producer with a bit of a ‘tude or the former bass player for Journey. But to prove she’s seriously legit, DeGeneres has gone and signed 12-year-old Greyson Chance, the wunderkind who wowed the World Wide Web with his rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”, to her new record label, eleveneleven (via EW).
Chance, who posted the song he performed at a 6th grade talent show on YouTube (and which now has over 30 million views), first appeared on DeGeneres’ show earlier this month. Apparently that performance must have made an impact as, according to DeGeneres, “Greyson … inspired me to start a record label called eleveneleven. He is my first artist, and we are making a record together.” Chance won the gig as a part of winning the “Wonderful Web of Wonderment” Internet talent search, plus $10,000 and a new Yamaha piano.
While building a record label around one artist when you’ve never had experience is not generally a good idea, DeGeneres promised to add more artists she discovers through her show. But fret not for the young career of Chance; DeGeneres also nabbed him Madonna’s manager, Guy Oseary, and Lady Gaga’s manager, Troy Carter, as co-managers. Not bad for someone who hasn’t hit puberty yet (and who isn’t Justin Bieber).
Watch the announcement here. Below, check out the video that started it all. And of course stay tuned for more news regarding the fledgling label.