Hit song by teen who died of cancer 7 years ago tops iTunes charts, beating Justin Bieber

November 16, 2020

Zach Sobiech is flying high again.

Seven years after the teenage musician died of cancer, his viral hit “Clouds” jumped back to the top of the iTunes chart Sunday following last week’s release of a Hollywood movie based on his life.

The inspirational tune, which Sobiech wrote as a farewell to his family and friends, took over the No. 1 spot from pop star Justin Bieber, delighting fans and supporters on social media.

“Zach just made history. I have no words,” said Justin Baldoni, who directed the new film. “In awe of you Zach. You are pure magic. Look what you did buddy. Look at what you did.”

Sobiech was only 14 years old when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that later spread to his pelvis and lungs. The Minnesota singer-songwriter decided to write a series of songs in late 2012 after being told he had between six months and a year to live.

He died in May 2013 at age 18. Days after his death, his fans pushed “Clouds” to the No. 1 spot on iTunes for the first time as a video of the song was also going viral on YouTube.

Sunday’s achievement appears to make Sobiech one of the first unsigned artists to hit the top of the iTunes chart twice. A portion of the downloads will go to a cancer research fund named after him.

Baldoni’s movie, also called “Clouds,” premiered Friday on Disney+ and is based on the memoir “Fly a Little Higher” by the teen’s mother, Laura Sobiech.

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