One Performer Stole the Super Bowl Halftime Show (Who Wasn’t Rihanna)

Rihanna's Super Bowl halftime performance kept our attention for every second of the 13-minute long set (and when it was done, we couldn't help but wish that it had been even longer). However, while the “Diamonds” singer stunned everyone with her high-end fashion, those incredible floating platforms, oh, and a surprise pregnancy announcement, there was another person who got everyone at home buzzing: ASL performer, Justina Miles.

During the show, Miles was presenting RiRi's iconic lyrics using American Sign Language, and the high energy she brought to her performance quickly caught the attention of viewers and went viral online. Soon, users started highlighting Miles on Twitter, like one person who said, “Rihanna’s sign language interpreter deserves a raise she was giving it her all.”

In other clips shared by fans, we can see that during moments when Miles wasn't signing, she was adding her own dance moves and improvisations to the show, and having loads of fun while doing it.

Another clip, which showed Rihanna's and Miles's performances side-by-side, was posted by the Geeks of Color Twitter account, where they wrote, “Rihanna’s interpreter is the real #Superbowl MVP.”

According to CNBC, Miles is only 20 years old, and she is a current nursing student at Bowie State University. At the Super Bowl, the performer not only signed Rihanna's halftime show, but also Sheryl Lee Ralph's pre-game performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” In a statement to CNBC, Miles said that it was an “honor” to be the first deaf person to perform the ASL rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (which has been deemed the Black national anthem) at the Super Bowl.

Later in her statement, Miles added, “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.”

Justina Miles.
Rob Carr/Getty Images

After that joyous performance, we'll be waiting for you to take that stage, Justina.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...