As stars Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan belted the national anthem into their mics at Super Bowl LV, a trailblazing artist hailing from the DMV area and graduate of Gallaudet University in D.C. communicated the emotion, lyrics and rhythm to viewers across America.
Warren Snipe, known by his stage name Wawa, sharply dressed in a burgundy dress shirt and matching tie, signed H.E.R.’s rendition of “America the Beautiful” and later “The Star-Spangled Banner” in American Sign Language.
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.
Prior to his performance, Wawa also provided a behind-the-scenes look at his day on his Facebook page, where he shared his arrival to his trailer and running into Russell and Ciara Wilson in the stadium tunnel.
Wawa graduated from Gallaudet University, a private university for the education of people who cannot hear or are hard of hearing located in the District, in 1994.
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?!” Most recently he is also known for his role in the television series Black Lightning.