Who is Justina Miles – Rihanna's Super Bowl interpreter the internet can't get enough of?

Who is Justina Miles – Rihanna's Super Bowl interpreter the internet can't get enough of?
Super Bowl: ASL gives high-energy signing during Rihanna halftime show

Millions tuned in to watch Rihanna's Super Bowl debut on Sunday (12 February) – and as iconic as it was, attention soon turned to the show's sign language interpreter, Justina Miles.

The 20-year-old American Sign Language performer made history as the first female deaf woman to interpret the halftime show.

She kickstarted her appearance with a moving rendition of 'Lift Every Voice and Sing' during the Super Bowl pre-show, a song she described as being "inspiring and empowering" while representing "resilience".

During a press conference, Miles said: "It's not only for me to share this experience with the whole world, but to really bring that empowerment to millions and millions of Black deaf people all over the country who have never really seen that before."

She added: "I feel that is truly lifting every voice, even my voice."

Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Inevitably, Miles immediately went viral across social media with thousands of people praising her performance and sharing various snippets from the night.

One person said: "Justina Miles stole the show as Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show ASL performer!"

Meanwhile, John Amaechi OBE added: "I didn’t watch the Super Bowl, but I LOVE this performance. @rihanna is even better with ASL by Justina Miles."

He continued: "Just another example of how inclusion - far from detracting from "the mainstream" - is additive for EVERYONE."

This isn't the first time the nursing student from Philadelphia has experienced online fame.

In 2020, Miles went viral on TikTok with her video of the #crushonyouchallenge. In the clip, Miles signs a Lil' Kim verse from 'Crush on You'.

"All my friends were like, ‘You’re on my timeline,” Miles recalled at the time to Billy Penn. "I was like, what’s a timeline?"

Miles is said to attend HBCU Bowie State University, according to the publication. Her mother is deaf, and her family is mixed with hearing people.

According to the National Association of the Deaf, Miles was the valedictorian at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington DC. She was also reportedly a part of the USA team that attended the 2021-22 Deaflympics in Brazil and won a silver medal as part of the 4x100 women’s track relay team.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)