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Featured In Houston Chronicle: Sign language interpreter helps deaf audiences enjoy music, dirty lyrics and all

Amber Galloway Gallego was in bed when a friend texted her: "Turn on Jimmy Kimmel."

"I was like, 'Why?' " said Galloway Gallego, who lives in Houston. Then she flipped on the late-night talk show and saw herself on TV.

Kimmel was showing a clip of Galloway Gallego on stage at Lollapalooza, dancing and doing sign language as rapper Kendrick Lamar rapped expletives. An audience member had captured about a minute of her performance, shaky camera and all, and posted it on YouTube.

In the nine months since that Chicago music fest, Galloway Gallego's sign-language spectacle has been viewed about 4 million times on YouTube. With a rapper's swagger, she lets it fly, signing rapid-fire lyrics and dirty words that look like dirty words. Her performance is lewd. It is startlingly, hilariously cool. It's also her job.

Galloway Gallego, an American Sign Language interpreter who specializes in music, has done the same thing at hundreds of concerts. She's hired to stand at the side of the stage and interpret Madonna and Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga and Rage Against the Machine for deaf audience members. She works South by Southwest every year, and she's in high demand at music festivals such as Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza.



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