New reports are confirming the tragic passing of 44-year-old actress Shonka Dukureh. Dukureh recently starred in the newly released hit movie ‘Elvis’ as Big Mama Thornton.
According to Variety, Dukureh was found dead in her Nashville, Tennessee apartment on July 21. A tweet made by the Metro Nashville Police Department revealed the actress shared the apartment with her two young children.
‘Elvis’ Star Tragically Dies at 44 Years Old
“No foul play is evident in today’s death of actress Shonka Dukureh, 44, who portrayed Big Mama Thornton in this year’s Elvis movie. Dukureh, a Fisk University graduate, was found dead in the bedroom of her Kothe Way apt that she shared with her 2 young children.”
The Tennessean further revealed that Dukureh was discovered unresponsive by one of her children. That child then went to a nearby neighbor for help.
Although foul play has been ruled out, Dukureh’s cause of death is still unknown. An autopsy will be performed by the medical examiner.
Her role as Big Mama Thornton, the iconic R&B singer-songwriter who first recorded Elvis’ hit song Hound Dog, was Dukureh’s “breakout role,” Variety reports.
The actress also has a master’s degree in education from Trevecca Nazarene University. She had dreams of releasing her first full-length album very soon.
Her website calls “Dukureh is a vocal powerhouse! She is an Actress! She is an author and she is a playwright. Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee by way of Charlotte, North Carolina this quadruple threat holds a bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Fisk University and a Master’s degree in Education from Trevecca Nazarene University credentialing her as a “Highly Qualified” K-6 teacher.”
“Shonka’s initial career aspiration was to become a teacher, however, she would soon learn that her vocal talents, coupled with an innate sense for the dramatic were most suited for a career as a performing artist,” it continues.
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