Greyson Chance was only 12 years old in 2010 when a video of his Lady Gaga cover at a sixth-grade talent show went viral on YouTube. Seven years later, Chance is grown up and taking his story into his own hands, telling the world he’s gay.

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Chance came out in a long Instagram post on Wednesday, which explained how he was pushed to talk about his sexual orientation by a “brave individual” who messaged him to ask about it. He says he “came to fully recognize” he was gay at age 16, but that he kept it a secret, mostly out of a desire for privacy. He also encourages others “navigating their sexuality” to take their time and come out when they feel ready, just as he has now done.

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The decision to write this came after I received a message from a brave individual. Such message inspired me to shed light on an aspect of my private life which I have kept distant from my career in music. I came to fully recognize that I was gay when I was sixteen. I decided not to publicize my sexuality largely due to a matter of privacy, as I was still trying to find comfort and confidence within my own skin. Further, I always found conversations regarding music, politics, art, books – and the greatness of Nas’ catalog – to be far more interesting than what type of guy I was into. This is still true today. While this message is most definitely overdue, I encourage anyone who is navigating their sexuality to devote as much time as they need to the process of finding self-confidence, self-acceptance, and self-love. Hell, for me, it took years to write this message. Nevertheless, I figured now was the time to let a few more friends know that I am happy, I am here for you, and I am proud of who I am. Cheers -G

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The viral video of Chance performing “Paparazzi” has been viewed nearly 60 million times, and in 2010 at the height of that success, he was invited on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and even received a phone call from Lady Gaga herself during the show.

The “Ellen” appearance also landed Chance a recording contract with DeGeneres’ new label, ElevenEleven.

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Chance has since recorded an album and two EPs, including the most recent, Somewhere Over My Head released in May 2016.