Media outlets including Variety and Fast Company report that this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show will include Sean Forbes, a rapper and musician who is deaf. Sean will appear alongside Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar.
The Clarke community may remember Sean from the 2017 Conference on Mainstreaming Students with Hearing Loss in Massachusetts. Sean was a keynote speaker and performer at the event.
Sean has his bachelor’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf and co-founded The Deaf Professional Arts Network (D-PAN). He’s a prolific drummer, songwriter and communicator who became deaf from spinal meningitis when he was just a few months old. He used hearing aids to listen and was taught to speak, read lips and converse. He learned sign language at the age of 12. The son of two musicians, Sean began playing drums at the age of five. By the age of 10, Sean was also playing guitar and writing his own music. In 2012, Sean released a full-length CD/DVD album titled “Perfect Imperfection” and toured extensively to promote the record.
Sean told the Detroit Free Press about his Super Bowl appearance:
“The doors to accessibility are busted wide open with something like this. 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.”