Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 12), millions across the globe were glued to their television screens to watch Rihanna take the field as the halftime performer. While the Barbados native certainly gave a memorable show, her ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter also had the internet buzzing.
The 13-minute performance was Rihanna’s first time hitting the stage in seven years, and the “Lift Me Up” singer celebrated by revealing that she was expecting baby number two. But even the “B**tch Better Have My Money” artist and her new bump had to share the shine with Justina Miles — the Fenty Beauty mogul’s 20-year-old sign language interpreter. During the show, the young woman became the first deaf female performer to sign at the Super Bowl’s halftime event. And before Rihanna graced the stage, Miles served as the ASL interpreter for “Abbott Elementary’s” Sheryl Lee Ralph as the Tony Award winner performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” for the pre-game.
rihanna’s sign language interpreter deserves a raise she was giving it her all 😭
— JA (@sleezyjamie) February 13, 2023
Once viewers saw Miles, they flocked to social media to praise her talents. “I missed Rihanna’s halftime show and the only one on YouTube [right now] is the ASL version. Dude, the interpreter [is] going off lol. She said, ‘I’m the captain now!’” one tweet read. Another user added, “Rihanna’s sign language interpreter deserves a raise. She was giving it her all.”
After discovering Miles’ history-making feat, fans were even more enamored. “And she is deaf! [The] first Black deaf woman to do the Super Bowl halftime! And hands down this has been the best,” a proud fan wrote on Twitter.
Before the show aired, Miles sat with CNBC to discuss her role for halftime. “I value the opportunity to make it possible for all deaf people to enjoy these songs, and not have them miss out on the full Super Bowl experience,” she told the network. Ahead of the big game, Rihanna also shared her appreciation for those who helped to make the show a success, mentioning during a Feb. 9 press conference that “at least 400 people” had to put her stage together and break it apart within minutes.
Check out more reactions below.
The ASL interpreter absolutely slayin Rihanna my god pic.twitter.com/CyNujdAfgT
— Public Defendering (@fodderyfodder) February 13, 2023
I missed Rihanna’s half time show and the only one on YouTube RN is the ASL version. Dude, the interpreter going off lol. She said I’m the captain now! pic.twitter.com/GTs0Mz4rzg
— jez (@jez_gold) February 13, 2023
Ok but Rihanna’s ASL interpreter ATE pic.twitter.com/28gN1OzP9n
— SΞAN (@Seanlofficial) February 13, 2023
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