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ASL performer goes viral for ‘WAP’ performance at Lollapalooza

A TikTok of an American Sign Language interpreter translating “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion has been viewed millions of times online. Next, performer Kelly Kurdi used her newfound fame to uplift deaf creators and highlight ways to provide better access to the deaf community.

Last weekend, Megan Thee Stallion performed at Lollapalooza, where she sang the Scorching Summer Anthem.

The spectators enjoyed the music but were also blown away by the lively on-stage translation of the song, performed by Kurdi. A recording of the show went viral on TikTok after participant Guilherme Vital Senise da Silva posted a video of it on his account.

As of Wednesday evening, the video had been viewed over 11.7 million times on TikTok and nearly 4 million times on Twitter.

Responding to his viral fame, Kurdi winked at Raven Sutton, the dancer who created the interpretation of “WAP”.

“Thanks for the love on my page to hear from people, but I’m just a passionate performer accessing a community that I love and learned everything from,” Kurdi wrote on Instagram.

She called on her new subscribers to do their part to make the world more accessible by captioning content, providing ASL performers whenever possible, and supporting deaf creators.

“And if you’re still wondering why the deaf and hard of hearing go to concerts, follow these pages and learn something new,” she added, linking to the pages of other creators including @ freelove19xx, @ _jtay_, @deafinitelydope, @ redmenace11 and @slntwrlddd. “Seeing a performer at a concert shouldn’t be shocking. Seeing a deaf performer on tour with every artist should be the norm!

Admiration for Kurdi’s work has poured into TikTok’s comments section.

“I am deaf and the performers in concerts and plays are phenomenal because they are part of the process and the production, so they are rehearsed really well,” one user wrote.

“She understood the mission,” wrote another.

Da Silva, the person who shot the footage, told BuzzFeed News that he was happy the clip could provide visibility to ASL in a fun way and hoped it would inspire viewers to learn more about the language of the signs and the culture that surrounds it.


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