12 – Year – Old ‘web sensation’ Greyson Michael Chance last week found himself to be the most talked about youtube star since Susan Boyle. The video of young Greyson singing Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi has received over 15 million hits since it was uploaded to youtube on April 29th.
To top the rocketing success off for Greyson, he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last week and has found himself swamped with comparisons to 16 year old Justin Bieber.
The question is, why are we thrusting teens in to the limelight like this?
Oh, but he’s only 12 and he’s amazing at piano and has a great voice.
Actually, his voice isn’t bad, but he’s really not that strong at piano if you, for example look at the original Lady Gaga version which he’s been inspired by.
Oh, but that’s mean, Gaga’s Gaga, Greyson’s 12.
Ok, but I spent my teen years at gigs with phenomenally talented young musicians including a few who could play some truly breathtaking renditions of songs from the Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s Californication album.
The difference is, these were talented teens, but they weren’t thrust into the spotlight quite so sensationally.
In fact, Lady Gaga spent her teen years studying in New York and grafting her skills and talents to the extent where she was able to create the mega icon we see today.
Having watched the other video’s on Greyson’s youtube channel it’s true, he’s talented, and may very well have a big career ahead of him.
But should we really be thrusting a pre – teen into the mass media spotlight just because they look like they could be the next big thing? There’s something rather disconcerting about that in my opinion.
Music history is awash with stories of talented kids, some were able to adjust to the fame and life in the spotlight, and others were not.
Are we really in the right to make a 12 year old a star? Or should we really be telling acts like Greyson: ‘You’re talented kid, but you’re too young, come back tomorrow.’
Image: Screenshot from Youtube.com www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxDlC7YV5is