Philly ASL performer goes viral during Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show

Justina Miles, a Philadelphia native, took the internet by storm with her ASL interpretation of Rihanna's medley of hit songs.

Rihanna singing during Super Bowl halftime show

Rihanna performs during the halftime show at the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

Rihanna’s headline-making Super Bowl halftime performance delivered another iconic performance simultaneously by the show’s American Sign Language interpreter.

Justina Miles, a Philadelphia native, took the internet by storm on Sunday night with her ASL interpretation of Rihanna’s medley of hit songs.

“Rihanna was incredible but omg the ASL interpreter they had for her performance was LIVING. 10/10 all around,” one Twitter user wrote.

“Um Justina Miles for the ASL #SuperBowl #Rihanna was the true star of the #AppleMusicHalftimeShow,” another viewer tweeted.

Miles, who is deaf, was seen in a split screen with Rihanna during parts of the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show that aired on Fox.

The performer was also on the field at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, during the pregame show, where she signed during Sheryl Lee Ralph’s performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

In a press conference last week, before Sunday’s game, Miles described the performance as an important moment.

“Not only for me to share this experience with the whole world,” she said, “but to really bring that empowerment to millions and millions of Black deaf people all over the country who’ve never really seen that before. I feel that is truly lifting every voice, even my voice.”

Three years ago, Miles went viral for her ASL performance of the Lil’ Kim song “Crush on You” music video, which was later shared online by the rapper.

Though her performance with Rihanna on Sunday was on the world’s biggest stage, it was not Miles’ first concert performance.

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She has “performed dazzling ASL renditions of music at various concerts throughout the country,” according to the National Association of the Deaf.

Miles is now a nursing student and cheerleader at Bowie State University in Maryland, according to the association.

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