Zach’s done it again.
Seven years after his death to cancer at age 18, Stillwater area singer/songwriter Zach Sobiech has returned to the top of the iTunes chart with his inspirational tune “Clouds.” The 2012 recording will also likely climb up, up, up the Billboard charts again when sales are tallied later this week.
“Clouds” took over iTunes’ No. 1 slot from Justin Bieber on Sunday, two days after the Hollywood movie of the same name based on Sobiech’s life premiered on Disney+.
The ranking is based on downloads of the song, profits from which will add to the $2 million already raised for cancer research via Sobiech’s namesake foundation.
The single — produced by Atomic K studio operator Karl Demer and originally issued via Twin Cities-based nonprofit record label Rock the Cause — first climbed to the top of iTunes in May 2013 just hours after news arrived of Sobiech’s death. He had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma four years earlier.
By that point, the YouTube video that led to the song’s ascent had been viewed 4 million times (it’s up over 15 million now). The song then also went to No. 26 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and No. 3 on the rock singles chart.
An adaptation of the memoir “Fly a Little Higher” by Zach’s mother Laura Sobiech, the movie version of “Clouds” earned mixed reviews (“Big on hugs and scant on plot,” said the New York Times), but it was heavily promoted and widely reported on.
One of the sweeter scenes in the movie shows the moment inspiration struck Zach to write his big hit while looking out the window of an airplane.
Disney+ does not release viewership numbers to say for sure how the film’s first weekend fared, but this iTunes success seems to answer that.