- American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter Justina Miles was the surprise star of Super Bowl LVII.
- Miles earned a lot of praise for signing Rihanna’s halftime show.
- Miles, 20, is also an accomplished athlete and current nursing student.
American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter Justina Miles was the surprise star of Super Bowl LVII on Sunday night.
Miles performed twice during the event, first signing Sheryl Lee Ralph’s pre-show version of “Lift Every Voice and Sing”.
She then signed on for Rihanna’s spectacular halftime show, becoming the first deaf woman to provide ASL interpretation in Super Bowl halftime show history.
Miles won wide acclaim online for his signature energetic Rihanna performance, which included renditions of “Umbrella”, “Diamonds” and “Work”.
“Enjoying watching woman doing sign language for Rihanna at the #SuperBowl halftime show having so much fun,” British broadcaster Dan Walker wrote on Twitter.
—Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) February 13, 2023
“Hush to ASL performer Justina Miles for absolutely making it to Rihanna’s #SuperBowl performance,” wrote nonprofit platform Off Color.
Communications Executive Johanna Fuentes said, “Loving the spark and energy of Justina Miles, the ASL interpreter at #SuperBowl. Simply amazing!”
So who is Justina Miles?
According to CNBC, Miles, 20, is a hearing-impaired American Sign Language artist.
She first gained notoriety in 2020 after a video of her signing a verse to rapper Lil’ Kim’s 1997 hit “Crush on You” went viral on Twitter.
The video, shared by Twitter user ToyaRochelle, has been watched more than 1.1 million times.
“I was really trying to go viral on TikTok, but someone retweeted it,” Miles told Billy Penn at the time. “All my friends were like, ‘You’re on my timeline. I was like, what’s a timeline?
—LawToya 💗 (@ToyaRochelle) May 3, 2020
It’s not just for signing that Miles has talent, though.
She was also part of the US team that went to the 2021-22 Deaf Olympics in Brazil, where she won a silver medal as part of the women’s 4×100 relay team, according to CNBC.
She is also a current nursing student at HBCU Bowie State University.
Before performing at Super Bowl LVII, Miles told CNBC that he hopes his performance will inspire others to “let no obstacles stop you from achieving your dreams and always believe in yourself to go the extra mile.”
“It’s an important moment not only for me to share this experience with the whole world,” she said, “but to really bring this empowerment to millions and millions of deaf black people across the country who have never seen this before. I feel like this is really raising all voices, even my voice.”