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 heartbreaker of a death 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. Billboard magazine has newly reported that the tune will also likely debut high on its Hot 100 chart next week, probably in the top 20. That would put the Stillwater High School student from Lakeland in the company of Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. His EP "Fix Me Up" -- which features "Clouds" and six other songs -- is also No. 2 on the iTunes album chart at the time of writing.
“Clouds” had already attracted plenty of attention prior to Sobiech’s passing, with over 4 million views on YouTube of the video. He re-recorded the song and formally released it as a single in conjunction with reputable local 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. It's looking like Zach's legacy is truly going to do a world of good.