Clouds

Album: Single Release Only (2012)
Charted: 50 26

Songfacts®:

  • Zachary David "Zach" Sobiech was a folk-rock singer-songwriter from Stillwater, Minnesota who was told he had a rare and terminal form of bone cancer at the age of 14. He started writing music after his diagnosis, and later formed a musical group, A Firm Handshake, with Samantha "Sammy" Brown, whom he had known since childhood and Reed Redmond. Their first album, Fix Me Up, was released in early 2013. Zach passed away on May 20, 2013 at his home.
  • Zach recorded this song about his battle with cancer in response to doctors' predictions that he had only months left to live. Released as a YouTube video in December 2012, it went viral, turning the teenager into a global role model for others battling serious illness. The digital single was released on the non-profit Rock the Cause label and distributed by the Orchard. Two days after Zach's death on Monday, May 22, the song climbed to #1 on US iTunes.
  • A host of stars recorded a tribute video to Zach. Ashley Tisdale, Colbie Caillat, Anna Farris, Jason Mraz, Sara Bareilles, Jenna Fischer, Rachel Bilson and Phillip Phillips can all be seen all lip-synching to this song.
  • Zach was 18 years and 2 weeks old when he passed away, making him the youngest person to have a posthumous hit since the 17-year-old Richie Valens died in the plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly on February 3, 1959. ("Donna" was in the charts at the time of Valens' death and continued to stay there for several more weeks).
  • Zach's local adult pop station KSTP Minneapolis was instrumental in the song's recording. "We do a KS95 for Kids radiothon every year, and Zach was one of the kids we highlighted last year," program director Leighton Peck told Billboard magazine.

    "It turned out he was a huge music fan and always wanted to record a song," Peck continued. "So, we took him into our studio and did kind of a rough version of 'Clouds.' One thing led to another and we thought it would be really cool if we got him into an actual studio with professional musicians. Our general manager, Dan Seemen, knows someone who has a production company. They volunteered their time and spent a couple days with Zach putting 'Clouds' together.

    "Zach actually wrote it to say goodbye to his family and friends," Peck added. "That's what 'Clouds' is all about."

Comments: 2

  • Michealawandler from Stevi, Mt"If only I had a little more time with you" it kills me so much! ;(
  • Michealawandler from Stevi, MtLove the song!!!! Too bad he had to leave use in such a early age. I didn't even know him but it seems he has a lot of talent. Wish he didn't leave us. This song has gotten me through a lot of hard times when my grandma died this past week.
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