Artist: GREYSON CHANCE
Single: WAITING OUTSIDE THE LINES (Maverick/Geffen)
Greyson Chance's "Waiting Outside the Lines" could easily be mistaken for an "American Idol" coronation song, but alas, "Idol" hasn't delivered a winner as preternaturally talented as Chance in years. This plucked-from-nowhere singer instead rose to fame the 2010 way -- on YouTube, with a viral cover of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" that led to signing with Ellen DeGeneres' new label. Chance's first single pegs him as a risk-taker -- one who's reaped rewards from creeping out his sixth-grade classmates by singing dark piano ballads -- and invites listeners to pay attention to his daring choices.
The 13-year-old delivers sweeping sentiments with natural conviction, his vibrato hovering over a piano melody that's mostly overpowered by Da Internz's orchestral production. The fact that the music itself never overshadows Chance is a good indication that this latest teen sensation is worthy of the hype.