1 year after his death, Zach Sobiech's voice still soars


The music and story of Zach Sobiech, who died a year ago at age 18, are still inspiring people around the world.

Last week, the Stillwater High School student was honored at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where YouTube stars performed live. Check out the soulful rendition of Sobiech's well-known song, "Clouds," performed at the event by singer Kiah Victoria and the Howard University gospel choir, among others.

Zobiech's story was widely publicized around the world as he faced a rare form of bone cancer with grace, honesty and humor.

Zach's mother Laura, who has penned a memoir about her son, was scheduled to appear on Katie Couric's talk show at 2 p.m. Tuesday to talk more about how her son's story touched people across the globe. In December, even event organizers were surprised by the crowd of thousands that gathered to sing "Clouds" at the Mall of America.

"Zach's story is not just about music. It's a testament to what can happen when you live as if each day might be your last. It's a story about the human spirit," Laura Sobiech told KARE 11 in April.

Many came to know Sobiech through a documentary by the filmmakers Soul Pancake, in which the Lakeland teen said, “I want everyone to know, you don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.”

Last month, Soul Pancake released a followup: "My Last Days: Zach Sobiech One Year Later," in which Laura Sobiech says, "With everything that happened around Zach, with the videos, and the response to the song and all of the outpouring of people around the world, I think I have a better understanding of humanity. Because what I see is that we all hunger for the same thing. We are all desperate for hope. And for love."

Sobiech's family has directed anyone interested in making a donation to the Children's Cancer Research Fund. The website Upworthy notes that donors have contributed $750,000 to the cause.

"Clouds," which soared near the top Billboard's digital rock charts, is available on iTunes, with sales benefitting the research fund.

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