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The pair first crossed paths on the set of Kelley’s “Only You" music video in 2005, in which Heigl starred. They got engaged and married within three years' time, and now, they’re the proud parents of three children. They share daughters Nancy Leigh "Naleigh" Mi-Eun and Adalaide Marie Hope, both of whom they adopted, as well as son Joshua Bishop.
The couple now live a quiet life away from the hustle of Hollywood and are raising their three kids in Utah.
In addition to being his life partner, Heigl also serves as Kelley's muse. The Firefly Lane actress has made several cameos in his music videos over the years and even posed for the cover of his album, My Baby & The Band.
“She’s so great,” Kelley told PEOPLE of his wife. “We’re both kind of carbon copies of each other in some ways, and we have our differences, which makes things fun and exciting.”
So, who is Katherine Heigl’s husband? Here’s everything to know about Josh Kelley and his relationship with the actress.
He is a pop-turned-country musician
Kelley broke into the music scene with hits like “Only You” and “Amazing.” In 2010, he left the pop-rock genre behind for a career in country music when he signed with MCA Nashville. Since then, Kelley has recorded over 10 albums, two of which came out during the pandemic. Speaking with Entertainment Tonight in 2021, Kelley said that he runs new music by his children before anyone else.
"My 12-year-old Naleigh, she'll sit next to me and I'm like, 'What do you think of that mix?' and she goes, 'It sounds a little bass heavy to me.' Naleigh is a scary genius and we're terrified of her," he said with a laugh. "I think she's running the whole show."
He and Heigl met on the set of a music video
The pair met while filming the music video for Kelley’s 2005 single “Only You.” Heigl, who was on the precipice of winning an Emmy for her role on Grey’s Anatomy, starred as her future husband’s love interest in the video.
“I remember the day we met: May 24, 2005,” Kelley recalled to Billboard. “I had just bought a house here in Nashville. The day after I signed the papers, I had to fly back to L.A. to do this music video.”
He added, “I showed up that day, we started doing our scenes together, and we just hit it off. We’ve been together ever since that day."
They got engaged the following year in 2006.
His brother is part of a famous country band
Charles Kelley makes up one-third of the country music band Lady A and also happens to be Josh’s younger brother. In an interview with The Boot, Charles said that his big brother inspired him to move to Nashville and chase his music dreams.
"He let me stay at his place for a year, rent-free, living like kings. Without him, I don’t think I would have done it. I really don’t,” Charles said. At the time, Charles was working for their brother John’s construction business in North Carolina but secretly envied Josh, who had moved to Nashville “on a whim” the year prior.
“[Had I stayed,] I think I probably would have done what I was doing and maybe had a little band on the side, for the fun of it, just to get that feel, get that artistic side of me out,” Charles added.
He and Heigl got married at a luxury snow lodge in 2007
Surrounded by family and friends, Kelley and Heigl tied the knot at Stein Eriksen Lodge, a luxury ski resort in Park City, Utah, on Dec. 23, 2007. Heigl’s Grey’s Anatomy costars T.R. Knight and Sandra Oh were in attendance, as was actress Kate Walsh.
For her big day, Heigl wore a custom-made, ivory silk Oscar de la Renta dress. She painted her nails a fiery red to match her bridesmaids’ red gowns. A source told PEOPLE that Kelley and Heigl wrote their own vows and that the bride walked down the aisle to an acoustic song written by Kelley, performed by a cellist and guitarist.
"It’s about showing someone you love that you’re actually capable of the ultimate commitment,” Kelley shared with PEOPLE on the topic of marriage. “We’re madly in love and she makes me excited to become married and to have a family and spend my life with someone. We’re fairly opposite but we also share a lot of the same values.”
He and Heigl share three children
The pair first became parents in 2009 when they adopted daughter Naleigh from South Korea. Naleigh got promoted to big sister in 2012 with the addition of daughter Adalaide. In 2016, Kelley and Heigl welcomed son Joshua, who was a bit of a “surprise,” as the actress told PEOPLE.
On the subject of fatherhood, Kelley had previously told PEOPLE: “I always thought I’d be scared, but I’m ready … I feel I’ve done more than most people will do in a lifetime. I’m ready to settle down, start a family and build my Kelley empire.”
The family of five now reside in Utah, and Heigl occasionally shares photos of their children on social media.
He and Heigl raise their kids out of the spotlight
Following her stint on Grey’s Anatomy and her successful rom-com run, Heigl packed up her life in Hollywood and moved to Park City, Utah, with Kelley and their three kids. In a candid interview with E! News, Heigl admitted that living in Los Angeles made it harder for her to be present at home and in her children’s lives.
"I didn't know how to raise them in L.A., so I felt like I could do it here," she explained. "I could be more on top of things that scare me and I could be more on top of the kinds of friends they have and places they're going, the kind of activities they're involved in — and what the hell they're doing on their phones!"
She noted that the move was beneficial for both her and the kids. "I could kind of decompress and let that hustle part of me go — a little bit," she said.
He and Heigl have a zoo of animals
Kelley and Heigl have their hands full. In addition to their children, the couple have eight dogs and three cats. "I think my children are really overwhelmed," the 27 Dresses star joked with PEOPLE about their brood of pets. "I feel bad now. Between eight dogs and three cats and three children and this house, and then, of course, my work. What have I done?"
"I think the kids are feeling very much [like] they live in a zoo at the moment," Heigl added. While that may be so, it appears Adelaide could have a career as a veterinarian in the future.
"She's really good with the dogs. She's 11, so who knows what she's going to be when she grows up? But she vacillates between a vet or a horse trainer. She loves the animals and they love her. She has a real receptivity to it," the mom of three said.
He and Heigl are teaching their daughters how to set boundaries
As Adalaide and Naleigh get older, Heigl is going out of her way to ensure that her daughters know that “it’s necessary” to set boundaries and stand up for themselves. "I don't want to make it a gender issue, but I do think there is this under-the-radar, unsaid, collectively understood vibe that women are meant to be 'pleasing,’ ” Heigl told NewBeauty while discussing mental health and motherhood.
"I see it in my young daughters, and it's just this odd, inherent social thing. I'm certainly not teaching them to be like that, but they're picking it up somewhere — there's a definite message of 'please everyone, except yourself,' " she continued.
Heigl said one mantra she often repeats to her eldest is: "'It's not your job to make everybody else feel comfortable, happy, safe, liked, or adored. It is your job to make sure you know who you are, you know what your boundaries are.' "
"You have to know what you will — or will not — put up with, and then, hopefully, handle that graciously," she added. "You don't have to attack people, but you do have to stand up for yourself."
He enlists Heigl’s help with his music
Nine years after dropping the music video for “Only You,” Kelley and Heigl professionally reunited to shoot the music video for “It’s Your Move,” the leading single off Kelley’s 2016 record, New Lane Road. Heigl not only starred in the video but directed it as well. In a conversation with Billboard, Kelley said it only felt right to have his wife so heavily involved in the project, considering he wrote the song about their first fight.
“We kind of tried to go back to that moment of our first fight. It’s hard to go back to that,” Kelley said. “Well, she can. She’s a badass actress.” He added that Heigl “came up with the whole treatment,” and it was her idea for them to star as themselves in the music video.
"Who better to be in it than the people who were in the original moment?” Kelley said of the idea. “It was great. She was so prepared and had this whole book put together with all the looks and [what] all the transitions would be like. Nobody on the set had to wonder what they were supposed to do.”
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