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Album: Georgia ClayReleased: 2011
Naleigh is the name of Josh Kelley's daughter, who he adopted with his wife, the actress Katherine Heigl (yes, the girl from Knocked Up did not actually get knocked up) in 2009. Kelley wrote the song with the Nashville songwriter Clint Lagerberg, and it reflects Josh's feelings after bringing Naleigh home. Said Kelley, "Clint had just had a little baby boy. So when we sat down and I said, 'I want to write a song about Naleigh,' we just started talking about our kids. And we were just so excited. We were both like brand new people. And the lyrics just started pouring out, everything that we were talking about became the lyrics. And I think that was just one of those really fortunate happenstances that both of us were experiencing something at the same time and we could write about it, even from a different perspective.
My wife was working on a movie, Life As We Know It, she was playing this mom who had all of the sudden got a kid out of the blue. (laughing) Right when we had a kid, she gets a kid in her movie. It was in the air."
When we spoke with Kelley in 2011, he glowed with pride when the subject of his daughter came up. Said Josh: "She is the cutest, coolest little kid on the block. And she's a total daddy's girl. I mean, I'm obsessed with her. I love her. I take her every morning - I'm the morning dad, so I get her in the morning and I take her to my studio and lay a bunch of little shakers and little toy pianos and stuff on the ground and I get in the my studio and she plays and sits in my lap and hits the piano every now and then."
Explaining why they adopted from South Korea, he added: "Katie's sister was adopted from South Korea. And when we decided that we wanted to adopt first, we thought that would be sort of the logical place to start. Let's keep it in Korea. And we started doing the process, it took a while, we were open to special needs of almost any kind. And her special need - which is funny that this is even a special need - is that she had two holes in her heart. She had surgery at three months and then at five months. And luckily for me and Katie, my dad is a heart doctor. It's great. So he checked up on her when she came in and he said she's 100%. He was like, 'They did a great job on the surgery and she's completely recovered.' That's why we got her early. We got her at like 9 months. She was actually born when we started the process. (laughing)"
Kelley released his first album in 2003, but Georgia Clay
was his first Country effort. The genre allows him to record his most personal songs, like this one, which deals with starting a family and moving to Utah. Said Kelley, "My life has completely changed. My wife is a very strong independent woman and she allows me my own independence. And from the first time my baby girl brushed her hand against my face, my life was changed. This album reflects those changes. I think 'Naleigh' Moon' is the best song I've ever written in my whole life. The way the chords and the melody intertwine, it tugs on your heartstrings. When I'm singing it, man I mean it. I'm not just a guy in the studio doing take after take; I mean every word of it each time I sing 'Naleigh Moon.'" (Check out the full Josh Kelley interview
The song's music video was shot in Los Angeles and directed by Katherine Heigl. It includes home footage of the couple with Naleigh.