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Zach Sobiech died on Monday from a rare form of cancer at 18. His song “Clouds” went to No. 1 on iTunes a few hours after his funeral in Stillwater.

Mike Rominski,

Snooki

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Minnesota teen's song 'Clouds' soars to No. 1 on iTunes

  • May 25, 2013 - 2:44 PM

It happened to Otis Redding and Janis Joplin, too — but they were already famous when they died. Twin Cities area high-school musician Zach Sobiech is rocketing up the charts in the aftermath of his death on Monday from a rare form a cancer at age 18.

The song Sobiech wrote for family and friends to bid them farewell, “Clouds,” went to No. 1 on iTunes mere hours after his funeral Thursday, and Billboard magazine reports that the tune will likely debut high on its Hot 100 chart next week, probably in the top 20. That would put the Stillwater High student from Lakeland in the company of Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The EP he released under the band moniker A Firm Handshake, “Fix Me Up” — which features “Clouds” and six other songs — also reached No. 2 on the iTunes album chart Friday.

“Clouds” had already attracted plenty of attention prior to Sobiech’s death, with more than 4 million views of the video on YouTube. He rerecorded the song and formally released it as a single in conjunction with the St. Paul-based music-for-charity organization Rock the Cause, whose nonprofit status helps funnel money from the sales of “Clouds” and Sobiech’s other songs toward the Children’s ­Cancer Research Fund.

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