22 July 2022

‘Elvis’ star Shonka Dukureh found dead in Nashville home

The actor portrayed blues singer Big Mama Thornton in the biopic.

Actress Shonka Dukureh, who recently made her big screen debut in the new Elvis film has died at the age of 44. Dukureh was found dead in her Nashville home in her bedroom on Thursday (21st July), where she lived with her two children, the Metro Nashville Police Department said.

One of the children went to the apartment of a neighbour who called 911 after finding her unresponsive. According to the police, there was no foul play involved while autopsy results are pending from the medical examiner.

Dukureh played the role of blues singer Big Mama Thornton in the Elvis Presley biopic, which was released in June. The actress’s performance of ‘Hound Dog’, which Thornton recorded in 1952, four years before Elvis Presley, was one of the most talked about scenes in the flick after going viral following its release.

The actress and singer also made waves this year after appearing on stage at Coachella with Doja Cat. Radio station WPLN-FM reported that Dukureh had a theatre degree from Fisk University and an education degree from Trevecca Nazarene.

In an interview with the station last month, Dukureh said she had previously worked as a second-grade teacher and worked with inner-city youth through after-school and summer programs. She said those students reached out after seeing her in Elvis.

  • Writer Chris Saunders
  • Banner Image Credit Warner Bros.

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