Following the death of legendary hairstylist Oribe Canales at the age of 62, the beauty guru’s most famous celebrity client, Jennifer Lopez, took to social media to share a tribute to her friend and longtime collaborator.
Canales first began working with Lopez, 49, as she was gearing up to release her debut album, 1997’s “On the 6” — but to hear the pop icon tell it, she’d admired his work from afar for years prior.
“When I was 16 I was fascinated with Vogue magazine I would ride on the train and look at all the images of the supermodels and I was obsessed with the hair!! When I saw an image I loved I would check who did it and it was always someone named Oribe,” Lopez began her lengthy Instagram tribute.
The star specifically requested that Canales style her hair for her first album’s artwork, and the two quickly became inseparable. According to a section of Oribe’s website titled “The J.Lo Years,” she wasn’t his only immediate fan: “Sean Combs, her boyfriend at the time, told Lopez not to let Oribe get away, and she didn’t.”
The superstar’s Instagram post continued, “The next 10 years I would spend with Oribe by my side in every waking and working moment. We fell in love with each other. We traveled the world together. And along with [makeup artist] Scott Barnes they helped me blossom into JLO.”
Over the years, Canales and Lopez crafted countless memorable looks together, from the slicked-back bun Lopez paired with giant hoops and a fur coat for her “Jenny From the Block” music video to the polarizing curly bouffant she wore for the 2002 Oscars; according to Oribe’s site, “Lopez had the good taste to absolutely love it,” despite dissenters.
Continued Lopez, “He made me love the glam part of things. Bc he loved it so much and saw it as a powerful tool to empower women. He loved beauty and wanted women to feel beautiful and sexy. He loved the messiness and the imperfection and saw how interesting that was. He was a true artist.”
The “I’m Real” singer concluded her tribute by thanking Canales for “[making] me feel special and beautiful for so long,” and hashtagged the post “#latinolegend,” “#artistextraordinaire”, “#hairgod” and “#familia.”
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