Shonka Dukureh, Singer and ‘Elvis’ Actress, Dead at 44

Shonka Dukureh Singer Elvis Actress Dead 44
Shonka Dukureh Singer Elvis Actress Dead 44

Police in Nashville confirmed on Thursday that the singer and actress Shonka Dukureh, who played Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton in the new Baz Luhrmann film “Elvis,” had passed away.

At the time, she was 44 years old.

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Shonka Dukureh Died at the Age of 44

In the Nashville apartment that Dukureh and her two young children shared, the body of the mother was discovered. Police stated there were no signs of any criminal activity.

In her first major film role, Dukureh played R&B singer Thornton, who recorded the song “Hound Dog” before Elvis Presley.

Shonka Dukureh Singer Elvis Actress Dead 44
Shonka Dukureh Singer Elvis Actress Dead 44

There is a music video for the song “Vegas” by Doja Cat, which can be found on the “Elvis” soundtrack, in which she appears.

In addition, in April, Dukureh appeared at the Coachella music festival with Doja Cat.

Dukureh pondered her breakthrough performance in “Elvis” in an interview she posted to Instagram last week, in which she said, “Gratefulness is where I live cuz my granny, gmama, mom, family modeled and instilled it in me.

It isn’t a posture of less than or crumbs scraping, but one that 
acknowledges good things aren’t a guarantee and when we encounter them thankfulness, gratefulness is the least we can express.”

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