'Elvis' actress Shonka Dukureh found dead in Nashville apartment

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — An actress who just recently made her debut on the big screen has died, authorities confirmed.

Shonka Dukureh, 44, was found dead in the bedroom of her Nashville apartment Thursday morning.

One of her two children found her unresponsive and ran to a neighbor for help. The neighbor called 911 just before 9:30 a.m.

Officials say no foul play is evident, but Dukureh’s death is unclassified, pending autopsy results.

Dukureh is best known for her role as Big Mama Thornton in “Elvis,” released earlier this year. She also appears in Doja Cat’s “Vegas,” a hit song from the film’s soundtrack. Dukureh and Doja Cat performed at Coachella in April.

According to her website, Dukureh has toured internationally with recording artist Jamie Liddell and The Royal Pharohs and has performed with numerous artists, including Grammy winners Mike Farris and Ashley Cleveland.

In an interview late last month, Dukureh said she was working on her own album, “Lady Sings the Blues.”

The “Elvis” biopic was released on June 24, 2022, and soared passed “Top Gun” during its opening weekend. It took the #1 spot as well, making over $31M.

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