Former YouTube star Greyson Chance comes out

Greyson Chance, the former YouTube viral star whose cover of a Lady Gaga song during a sixth grade talent show landed him a spot on Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show -- and a recording contract with the star's label -- has come out on Instagram. Chance, now 19, described his decision in a post on Wednesday (July 19), explaining that it was spurred by a "brave individual" who inspired Chance to share his story.

"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," wrote Chance, who became an internet sensation at 12 when his cover of Gaga's "Paparazzi" from his school talent show went viral and caught the eye of DeGeneres.

"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," he continued. "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."

Chance was signed to DeGeneres' ElevenEleven Records label after the Gaga cover blew up and he released his latest EP, Somewhere Over My Head, in May.