Warren “Wawa” Snipe wowed audiences at Super Bowl LV with his renditions of “America the Beautiful” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” in American Sign Language before the big game. Almost instantly, Snipe’s charismatic appearance became a highlight of the night and the video of his performance quickly went viral.
“I was so excited and overwhelmed and feeling grateful and blessed,” Snipe told ET Monday during a video chat, conducted in ASL and with the help of interpreter Brent Tracy.
Snipe, 50, said he is “truly humbled” by the experience and the monumentally supportive response and feedback.
Snipe, a deaf rapper and performer, won over the crowd with his spirited expressions and bright smile as he performed alongside HER for “America the Beautiful” and with Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church for the national anthem.
“[This] It’s been a dream of mine, “Snipe shared, explaining that he had always wanted to perform at the Super Bowl, maybe even during the halftime show.” When I was notified that I was the chosen talent, I was surprised … it was really exciting and my family was in shock. “
For Snipe, being able to perform at the start of the massive event came at a time when things were really falling into place and the moment turned out to be really exciting.
“I was in the middle of completing my album. The album was just released on February 1 and in January I was notified that I had been selected to perform,” he shared. “So I had a great project to focus on. [and] I just added another project to my plate! I had my album release and I had the Super Bowl. “
When it came time to hit the field, Snipe gave it his all and delivered a great and passionate performance that won over all the spectators. It became an instant viral hit and the popularity was so instant that Snipe said he was genuinely concerned.
“I thought he was in trouble. That was my first thought. That maybe I did too much, and there could be some ramifications for ‘stealing the show,'” Snipe said, referring to the first time he saw some of the headlines about his appearance. “But I gave everything I had and wanted to put on a show, a performance that was the best of the best.”
“The other artists and performers are the best of the best, and I need to meet with them at their level and give access to the deaf and hard of hearing community, which is very important,” he added.
In the end, Snipe was flooded with love and support, and the host said that he is “very grateful for that.”
“When you do something that you are passionate about, that you really love, you are going to give everything you have, and that is a victory,” he shared.