Welcome to the second season of Mashup Mondays, the weekly video series where we have an artist of one genre cover a totally unexpected song from another genre. Last year, we had a lot of fun with the likes of Sara Bareilles taking on Beyonce and Matisyahu beatboxing Kings Of Leon, so we knew we had to bring our A-game for the kickoff of 2011. To that end we enlisted tween piano phenom Greyson Chance to tackle no less than Alicia Keys and Jay-Z's New York megahit, "Empire State of Mind" in his dramatic classical-meets-vocal style.
"I picked 'Empire State Of Mind' because it's obviously out of my element," the 13-year-old Oklahoma native says of the 2009 ode to the Big Apple that spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100. "It's an R&B song, Jay-Z is rapping on it. I heard it right when it came out and I fell in love with it."
Chance, who came into the public spotlight after his talent show version of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" went viral and Ellen DeGeneres took him under her wing, embarked on a huge tour with Miranda Cosgrove back in January. With an album on DeGeneres' eleveneleven label due this year, no one is likely to soon forget why he earned a top 10 spot on our 21 Under 21 list.
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