There is going to be a historic moment during this Sunday’s highly-anticipated and star-studded Super Bowl Halftime show after it was announced Dr. Dre has added two deaf rappers to the performance set.
According to Variety, Sean Forbes and Warren “WaWa” Snipe will join Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar on stage to entertain the crowd during their set at halftime. Though the halftime show has been in existence for over 50 years, no sign language interpreters have appeared on set. But that is going to change this Sunday. Interpreters have, however, usually featured during pre-game ceremonies.
As part of Sunday’s activities, actress Sandra Mae Frank will also mount the stage to perform the National Anthem as well as “America the Beautiful” in American Sign Language. The performances will be done for the National Association of the Deaf.
“The doors to accessibility are busted wide open with something like this,” Forbes told the Detroit Free Press. “So this is very much a full-circle moment, being from Detroit, being part of the Eminem camp — or even going back to being 12 and listening to N.W.A, Dre, and Snoop on my Walkman. My goal is to get out there, show what we can do, and have fun. And I want to open the door for other deaf performers.”
At last year’s Super Bowl in Tampa, Snipes took on the interpreter role during Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church’s sets. Sullivan performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” while Church sang “America the Beautiful”.
A number of musicians will also be performing at this Sunday’s pre-game event. Country artist Mickey Guyton has been booked to perform the National Anthem while R&B artist Jhene Aiko will sing “America the Beautiful.” Renowned gospel duo Mary Mary will sing the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI showdown between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals will take place at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.