As stars Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan belted out the national anthem at the Super Bowl, a trailblazing Gallaudet University graduate communicated the emotion, lyrics and rhythm to viewers in American Sign Language.
Warren Snipe, known by his stage name Wawa, signed H.E.R.’s rendition of "America the Beautiful" and later "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Support poured in on social media.
“The best performance to start the #superbowl is Warren Snipe with the ASL Star Spangled Banner. I don't sign but I want to learn now! #SuperBowl2021,” Twitter user @PforPatrick said on the platform.
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Prior to his performance, Wawa provided a behind-the-scenes look at his day on his Facebook page. He shared his arrival to his trailer and said he ran into Russell and Ciara Wilson in the stadium tunnel.
Wawa is from the D.C. area and graduated from Gallaudet University, a private school whose mission is to empower deaf and hard of hearing students.
He went on to develop his own niche within the hip-hop genre, called Dip Hop, which he defines as “Hip Hop through deaf eyes,” according to a press release.
“His unique rendering of Dip Hop explores Hip Hop through a mesmerizing blend of audio and imagery, and seeks to put Deaf recording artists on the map in the mainstream public interest,” the release reads.
In 2016, Wawa released an album called "Deaf: So What?!" He is also known for his role in the television series "Black Lightning."