Elvis actress Shonka Dukureh found dead in Nashville apartment

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Shonka Dukureh, actress and singer who played Big Mama Thornton in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic “Elvis,” has died aged 44.

She was found dead in her apartment in Nashville on Thursday, the Metro Nashville Police Department tweeted. One of her two children found her unconscious and sought help from a neighbor, who called 911. The cause of death has not yet been determined and police do not suspect any wrongdoing. criminal.

“I was very conscious and I really wanted to be intentional to make sure that I respected, respected her, respected her legacy, respected her spirit, respected everything she brought to the music and understood that I could do it because she did it and laid that foundation,” she said.

Thornton was the first to record “Hound Dog”, and Dukureh’s made powerful characteristics of the song in the film.

Dukureh had previously taught second grade and said WPLN local news station about the stunned reactions of his former students to his Hollywood debut.

“They’re blown away, like, ‘Wow! Miss Shonka! Really?'” she said. “I said, ‘I’m still Mrs. Shonka, you know!'”

Nashville Mayor John Cooper released a statement honoring Dukureh.

“My deepest condolences to the family of Shonka Dukureh,” he said. by Fox 17. “Shonka graduated from Fisk and made Nashville her home for many years. His powerful voice and artistry will live on through his music, and we honor his memory on this sad day.

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