Zach Sobiech, an 18-year-old whose battle with cancer became a global story, has died.
The Minnesota native became famous when his song “Clouds,” which is about facing death, became a viral sensation on YouTube, topping 3 million views. The song was originally released in December of last year.
The video was so popular that a group of celebrities were inspired to create a video tribute in which they lip-synch the lyrics.
Sobiech was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer, osteosarcoma, at 14 and was told a year ago that he likely only had months to live.
“Cancer may have taken Zach too soon, but he leaves a lasting legacy that most of us will never achieve,” read a statement on the Children’s Cancer Research Fund’s Web site. “His message of love and hope delivered through infectious lyrics and memorable tunes have imprinted on the minds and hearts of millions around the world.”
Sobiech also played in a band called A Firm Handshake, which released their second album, “Fix Me Up,” this past February.
“It is with heavy heart that we announce the passing of our son Zachary David Sobiech,” his family said in a statement obtained by the Today Show. “Our family has been blessed not only by his amazing presence in our lives, but also by the love and support of our family and friends and by so many people in the community. In particular we’d like to thank those people who listened with their hearts and helped Zach bring his message and his music to the world.”
The Sobiech family requests that all memorials be directed to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund in lieu of flowers.