Most eyes were on Rihanna as she delivered the Super Bowl halftime performance. But a whole bunch of folks was also concentrating on Justina Miles, her American Sign Language interpreter. Some saw her as the unexpected star of the show.
Miles is being celebrated for the way she perfectly matched the singer’s energy as she mouthed the lyrics to mega-hits like “Rude Boy,” “Work” and “Umbrella.”
She also perfectly displayed ASL’s expressive movements in each song. It looked more like choreography than sign language.
One of the songs from the halftime performance showing Miles has already gone mega-viral with more than 11 million views.
A Twitter user has declared Miles as the “true” half-time star. And that was only one of many comments about Miles.
Justina Miles is hard of hearing herself and she has a deaf mother along with multiple family members with mixed hearing abilities.
She had some internet fame back in 2020 for her version of Lil’ Kim’s 1997 “Crush on You” video.
Lil’ Kim said about her Super Bowl performance, “Miles clearly has a knack for bringing hip-hop music to life with infectious enthusiasm. No wonder she was matched with Queen RiRi.”
She also signed for the Super Bowl’s pre-show performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the Black national anthem.
During a press conference leading up to the event, Miles shared that for her, being the first deaf performer to interpret this song “was a chance to bring empowerment to millions and millions of Black deaf people all over the country who have never really seen that before. I feel that is truly lifting every voice, even my voice.”
She said that she valued the opportunity to make it possible for all deaf people to enjoy Rihanna’s songs. She not only wanted to entertain, but she also wanted to encourage.
Job well done, Justina.
— Off Colour (@OffColourOrg) February 13, 2023
Rihanna's deffo pulling some queen shit BUT ALSO CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS ASL INTERPRETER? She's doing such a great job and bringing so much energy ♥️♥️♥️♥️ pic.twitter.com/l8s62Jt7Rs
— Lisa (Sarah Nurse is Elite) (@justforspourts) February 13, 2023