Where Are The Kids That Ellen DeGeneres Made Famous Now?

As the reigning queen of daytime television, Ellen DeGeneres has the power to turn her guests into genuine stars overnight. The award-winning talk show host is well-known for scouring the internet for young talent, and she's extended invitations to countless incredible kids from all around the world since The Ellen DeGeneres Show debuted in 2003. From dancers and singers to hilarious personalities, some of the world's most entertaining children have been brought to our attention by DeGeneres, who continues to be a big outlet for little voices. 

An appearance on her show pretty much guarantees at least 15 minutes of fame, but what happens when that buzz eventually dies? Do all the kids that she champions manage to turn their talents into careers? Let's find out where the kids that Ellen DeGeneres made famous are now.

Greyson Chance

In 2010, Greyson Chance shared a video of himself performing a cover of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" in front of gobsmacked schoolmates at a sixth-grade talent show, and DeGeneres was one of the millions of people who saw it. Days later, he was sitting in math class when he got a text from his mom. "She said, 'Call me ASAP,' so the first thing in my mind is, 'Dang it, what did I do now?'" What he'd done is book himself a spot on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which proved to be a launching pad for the budding musician.

The baby-faced pianist quickly dropped two original songs — "Stars" and "Broken Hearts" both have views in the millions today — and the following year, he released his debut album. Hold on 'til the Night peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard 200 and proved popular in South East Asia, a region that Chance has performed in several times — he apparently has a huge fan base in Singapore.

2017 was a huge year for Chance. A new single entitled "Low" was posted to his YouTube channel in December, five months after he came out as gay on Instagram. "I came to fully recognize that I was gay when I was sixteen," he revealed in the brave post. "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."  

Heaven King

Adorable dancer Heaven King was only 2 years old when she performed alongside her dance instructor mom, Tianne, in a 2013 video that went viral, putting them on DeGeneres' radar. Heaven was 3 when she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, melting audiences with her copycat hip-hop moves. Her appearance on Ellen made her so famous that even Beyoncé recognized her! The superstar songstress gave little Heaven a huge hug when she spotted her in the front row at a concert not long after that Ellen episode aired.

Heaven and her mom continued to release popular dance videos via the latter's YouTube channel, and their clear chemistry soon drew the attention of TV producers. In 2016, Deadline revealed that Verizon was about to release a reality show based on the Kings on its go90 streaming service. Raising Heaven follows Tianne on her daily grind as she juggles being a single mother with managing her talented daughter's career. "I would like [people] to see Heaven and I in a different light, outside of just the dancing," Tianne told Tubefilter. "I want them to see me as a director and as a choreographer. Also, I hope they see Heaven as a bubbly little girl full of personality!"

Season 2 has yet to materialize, but the mother-daughter combo continues to work together on the regular. In January 2018, they dropped their unique take on "Finesse" by Bruno Mars, which surpassed the 5 million views mark in a matter of months.

Kai Langer

Four-year-old singer Kai Langer wooed Ellen DeGeneres (and the better part of America) when he nailed a super-cute cover of "Grenade" on what would be the first of many appearances on her show. DeGeneres' team reached out to Langer's family in 2013 after they saw a video of him performing the Bruno Mars song in a kitchen, displaying all of the anguish the lyrics imply on his tiny face. He amped up the cuteness levels with every new visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, at one point offering the host a friendship bracelet and asking her to be his girlfriend.

Langer's popularity with DeGeneres and her audience got him invited back a number of times. The Filipino-Czech heartbreaker delivered a memorable performance of Katy Perry's "Roar" on one appearance, but primarily stuck to mimicking his idol, Bruno Mars. DeGeneres even arranged for Langer to meet the "Uptown Funk" singer, just one of the stars that he's been able to rub shoulders with thanks to the well-connected host. In 2017, a then 7-year-old Langer was surprised by Ed Sheeran after belting out his own version of "Thinking out Loud" for DeGeneres.

Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland

British cousins Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland were just 8 and 5-years-old, respectively, when they met DeGeneres, who loved their cover of Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass." She invited the diminutive duo onto her show in 2011, and they showed up wearing the same pink dresses they rocked in the original viral video. Sophia Grace would go on to bag a record deal and Rosie also has some new music on the way, according to her rep, but they're still best-known for their many appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The girls became regular guests on the show, occasional red carpet correspondents, and even wound up getting their own segment, Tea Time with Sophia Grace and Rosie. The adorable Brits shared a good old fashioned English cuppa with the likes of Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, and even after growing out of those pink tutus, they remained in regular contact with DeGeneres. In January 2018, they appeared via videolink to wish the host a happy 60th birthday. "We've had so many amazing memories," Rosie told DeGeneres.

Both girls are concentrating on their music right now. Careers as actresses haven't exactly panned out. At one point, Sophia Grace was set to play the part of Little Red in Disney's Into the Woods, but her parents decided to pull the plug. "After careful consideration we the parents of Sophia Grace felt that as rehearsals progressed that she was too young for this part," they said (via BroadwayWorld).

Akshat Singh

After Ellen DeGeneres caught a glimpse of Akshat Singh dancing on India's Got Talent, she told her producers "bring him to me," and it was done. The Calcutta-native became an overnight sensation in the United States thanks to his incredibly flexible performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, but he was actually already famous in India. Before he took part in India's Got Talent, Singh starred in a commercial for Vodafone, who noticed him dancing in his underwear to Hindi music on YouTube.

Post-Ellen, Singh has been using his international fame to dance his way into the world of acting, following in the footsteps of his icon, Bollywood star Salman Khan. "Salman and I have one thing in common: all girls are after us," he told an Indian reporter (via The Hollywood Reporter) upon returning from America. 

He has a long way to go if he's going to catch up to Khan (who has more than 100 acting credits to his name,) but Singh has at least made a start. In 2015 he made a cameo appearance in romantic comedy Ayal Njanalla and, according to Bombay Times, he began work on an Indo-Russo production named Best Friends in summer 2017. "The film is already on floors and currently, the shoot is in Mumbai, but we will soon travel to Moscow, Manali, Ladakh and Delhi," Singh said. "Working on a movie is a very different experience, I am getting to learn many new things."

Taylor Hatala

Taylor Hatala was 11-years-old when a video of her dancing with choreographer Laurence Kaiwai to Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" caught DeGeneres' eye. The impeccably timed pair performed the same routine when they dropped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show a month later, and the video of that performance went on to exceed 50 million views on YouTube. "I've watched Ellen since I was little," Hatala told Paper magazine in 2017. "It was one of my bucket list things to be checked off."

A string of smaller TV appearances followed for Hatala (she was interviewed on Arise 360, CTV News and Shaw TV in the weeks following Ellen), but her next big break came in 2015, when she nailed the biggest audition of her career to date. 

"Earlier this year, I heard of an audition that was happening in Los Angeles for the Janet Jackson tour," she said (via The Huffington Post). "I didn't think I would actually get it but decided just to try it out. Seven weeks later, I heard the news that I had been cast in the WORLD tour and I freaked out. It was a feeling I'll never forget."

More recently, Hatala played a huge part in Jackson's Unbreakable tour, though she's been trying to make her way as an actress, too. She's popped up in ABC sitcom Fresh off the Boat as well as the School of Rock TV series, and she still releases regular dance videos on her YouTube channel.

Noah Ritter

Apparently, Noah Ritter was cut out for a life in television. In 2014, the 5-year-old from Wilkes-Barre, Pa. stole the show from Newswatch 16's Sofia Ojeda during a hilarious interview at the Wayne County Fair. When asked about the rides, Ritter said that he'd been "scared half to death" by a slide and went off on a tangent about his grandpa, the Powerball lottery, and never having appeared on live television before. And he used the word "apparently" an insane amount of times.

The little redhead quickly became known as "the apparently kid," winning praise from the likes of Stephen Colbert, who called him "a natural-born newsman." But in the short time it took DeGeneres to bring him onto her show after the "apparently" video went viral, Ritter had "gotten over" the word and was into using "seriously" instead. Not that it mattered, because America would come to know Ritter by his real name after he became a regular guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Today, Ritter is settled into his role as a judge on ABC's The Toy Box, a show in which a panel of kids are introduced to a bunch of toy prototypes and have to choose which one wins a contract with Mattel. "The clear star [of the show] is 8-year-old judge Noah Ritter," reported the Times Herald-Record. "He has lost little of his peculiar appeal or ability to coin the odd phrase. I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of him."

Merrick Hanna

When Merrick Hanna saw a robot for the first time, it was the greatest thing he'd ever seen. The California native developed an obsession with all things robotic at a very young age, and when he discovered that there was a style of dance based on imitating their movements, he was all in. 

"I saw a show called America's Best Dance Crew," he told Ellen DeGeneres when he appeared on her show at age 10 in May 2016. "I saw a dance crew on it called the Jabbawockeez ... and ever since I've been dancing like a robot!"

DeGeneres found Hanna on YouTube, where he would (and still does) post regular dance videos. At 9-years-old he was defeating grown men in competitions and earning a cool $100 every half hour from busking sessions with his little brother, but The Ellen DeGeneres Show was the platform the young hip-hop dancer needed to progress his career. He went on to appear on America's Got Talent, where he was eliminated at the semi-final stage under somewhat dubious circumstances.

Losing out on the AGT finals didn't dishearten Hanna, who has since taken up an interest in acting and isn't giving up on his dream of becoming a star just yet. On top of taking part in two Shakespeare productions (Much Ado About Nothing and A Winter's Tale), he played a part in 2017's Just Doug, the one Facebook Watch show that is actually worth watching, according to The Verge.

Zony and Yony

It's impossible to shake the good vibes identical Taiwanese twins Zony and Yony give off when dancing. The little ones are so darn cute that they were able to influence the Korean charts: When a video of the six-year-olds dancing to Crayon Pop's "Bar Bar Bar" went viral, the catchy K-pop tune shot to the top spot. Ellen DeGeneres had them flown to the States and interviewed them on her show via an interpreter in 2014.

The twins revealed that they began teaching themselves to dance at age 3 by watching videos on "daddy's iPad" and copying what they saw. When DeGeneres asked how people tell them apart, Zony replied "I'm beautiful," while Yony said "I'm cute." That was enough to endear them to both the host and her audience, who got to watch the girls perform several more times over the years.

Both their English and their dancing improved with every visit to the show, and their social media pages reveal that they've been taking their instruction to the next level. By 2017, the sisters were starting to look like real performers, taking on much more complicated routines.

Daniel Clarke Bouchard

Despite hailing from Montreal, child prodigy pianist Daniel Clarke Bouchard is a huge fan of the Los Angeles Kings. He got the chance to meet Kings goalie Jonathan Quick when he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2014, but as he stared at his hero with amazement, the audience was in awe of the young musician. The dapper 14-year-old stepped up to the keys with the confidence of a pianist twice his age and proceeded to show everyone why he had already performed at iconic Manhattan concert venue Carnegie Hall.

Today, he's a lot taller, his voice is a lot deeper, and he's hoping to get a lot better. Bouchard is currently studying music at New York's prestigious Juilliard School, where his past television appearances have brought him plenty of attention. "Someone saw the video of me on Ellen recently, someone of my own age, and he told me, 'Oh you looked so cute.' I was like, 'Where are you going with this?' I mean the words, they were in past tense," he told CBC in 2017.

Despite admitting that he had a crush on U.S. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, the classical musician insists that he doesn't have time for the opposite sex right now. "I feel like girls my own age are kind of immature in a way," he said. "I'm not trying to accuse the gender; they just don't understand what is going through my head and what music means to me."

Harmony Zhu

Combine the piano skills of Daniel Clarke Bouchard (who attends the same prestigious music school) with the ultra-cuteness of Zony and Yony, and throw in some crazy chess skills, and you've got Harmony Zhu. Before The Ellen DeGeneres Show made her famous across America, Zhu was picking up plaudits in the chess world, stunning everyone at the 2014 World Youth Championship when she dominated her age division and came out on top in a group of 117 hopefuls. However, it was her skill at the keys that got her a meeting with DeGeneres.

The Canadian performed a rousing classical piece on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in November 2014 at age 8. At the time, she told the host that she was also writing a book about the United Arab Emirates after visiting the country on chess duty. On top of returning to DeGeneres' stage to play on several occasions (including on her 10th birthday), Zhu has played Carnegie Hall no less than three times and became the youngest ever Grand Prize winner at the Chopin International Competition.

Zhu made classical music headlines in February 2018, when she joined world-renowned conductor John Giordano for a well-received rendition of Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor. "I had lots and lots of fun," Zhu said of the Winter Wonderland concert. "I really enjoyed it. It was much better than the rehearsals and the audience was really supportive!"