For the first time in Super Bowl history, American Sign Language (ASL) artists will be incorporated into the halftime show.
According to a joint press release from the NFL and the National Association of the Deaf, this year’s halftime show will include an “elevated accessibility experience” courtesy of famed Deaf musicians Warren “Wawa” Snipe and Sean Forbes, who will sign throughout the hip hop-themed performance featuring Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar.
Football fans will recall Snipe from last year’s Super Bowl, where he performed an acclaimed ASL rendition of America’s national anthem and “America the Beautiful”, with his performance viewed by an audience of 8 million.
As the release points out, Wawa has been a trailblazer in the world of hip hop as the originator of “Dip Hop,” which he defines as “Hip Hop through deaf eyes.”
Forbes is a veteran Deaf hip hop artist from Detroit who has produced several hit songs, and in 2011 released the music video “Let’s Mambo”, featuring Oscar-winning actress and two-time Super Bowl pregame performer Marlee Matlin.
Viewers can enjoy the full ASL performances of the halftime show, as well as the national anthem and “America the Beautiful” performed by Deaf actress Sandra Mae Frank of the medical drama “New Amsterdam,” on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.