March 10, 2011— -- Move over, Justin Bieber. There's a new teenage pop sensation on the rise.
Thirteen-year-old Greyson Chance first made a name for himself last May after a video of his performance of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" went viral.
"He's always been a good singer," said his mother, Lisa Chance. "Then he kind of taught himself to play the piano."
Now the sixth-grader from Edmond, Okla., has a record deal and travels on his own tour bus for live performances across the country.
Chance's life turned upside-down when someone posted a video on Youtube of his middle school chorus performance, where he covered Lady Gaga's song. The video garnered millions of hits and caught the attention of producers at "The Ellen Degeneres Show," who then invited him on to perform.
"I went to work, and the Ellen producers called me that morning, at 10," Chance's mother said. "They had seen [the Youtube video] and wanted us to fly down that day."
"I remember coming home and my mom saying, 'Pack, because we're flying to L.A.,'" Chance told DeGeneres during that first appearance. "This was my first flight, so I was very scared!"
Impressed by his incredible and seemingly hidden talent, Degeneres signed Chance with Madonna and Lady Gaga's management and launched a record label around him, called eleveneleven.
"I wanted to nurture his talent," Degeneres said. "I wanted to help it grow in the right way because I didn't want him to be taken advantage of."
Although she said she never thought of doing a record label before, Degeneres explained that after having talented kids on her show for years, she wanted to do something to help them along in their careers.
"Instead of just watching someone who's really talented come on the show and then send them off, I wanted to be involved," she said.
In the months since that hometown performance, Chance has recorded a single and completed a music video. His next project is to finish an album. His mother quit her nursing job and now both parents trade off spending six weeks at a time with their son on the road while he's on tour.
"Would I have chosen this for him at his age? Probably not," Lisa Chance said. "The music business is tough, and it's a lot of work and he's seen that but he goes in for it."
Instead of going to school, Chance is now tutored online. His mother admitted that she worries about her son being exposed to the entertainment world so early on.
"We talk a lot, and I'm honest with him about things," she said. "We always made sure it's what he wants to do because when it's not, then it's time to stop."
When the teenage singer leaves his friends at home behind to go on tour, he hangs out with members of his band, going to bowling alleys on his days off. Chance said he sometimes feels lonely on the road.
"It's sometimes very hard to be around adults all day," he said. "I think the hardest thing is I can't go to the movies with my friends at 7 o'clock on a Friday night. I have a show."
Despite his sudden and incredible fame, Chance remains incredibly down-to-earth and polite. Among his favorite bands -- which he listens to on vinyl records -- are Queen and Tom Petty.
"When I was in middle school, I was a bit of an oddball," he said. "I really was into music. I loved playing the piano, you know, I had this weird poise to myself."
Chance credited his Oklahoma upbringing for his grounded nature, and said that even though he's living in a very grown-up world now, he's still just a kid.
"Of course [my childhood] is not over!" he said. "My childhood's never over. I'm still a kid, with just a few alterations -- with a few knobs turned, and a few faders pulled up."