Death of Shonka Dukureh, actress seen in “Elvis”, a month after the release of the film

A former teacher, Shonka Dukureh began to find success in music and cinema. She was 44 years old and had two young children.

American actress and singer Shonka Dukureh died Thursday at the age of 44, as reported by CNN. She was found at her home by Nashville police, where she lived with her two children. The cause of his disappearance has not been released, but police say “there is no indication of foul play”. Autopsy results are awaited.

His sudden death comes just a month after the release ofElvis, a biopic of Elvis Presley. Shonkah Dukureh plays the singer Willie Mae Thornton, known as Big Mama Thornton, star of the blues of the 1950s. She is the one who sang Hound Dog the first before it became a King hit, played in the film by Austin Butler. Baz Luhrmann (Red Mill!, Gatsby the magnificent), the director of the feature film, pays tribute to him on Instagram:

“The entire ‘Elvis’ family is heartbroken at the loss of Shonka Dukureh. From the moment she entered our world, Shonka brought joy, spirit and, of course, her voice and her music (…) I feel truly blessed to have been able to spend time with her.”

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Elvis was Shonka Dukureh’s first major film appearance. She also put her voice on the film’s soundtrack and on vegas by Doja Cat, another title used for the soundtrack. She also appears in the clip that accompanies the track.

The rapper, who invited her to the Coachella stage this year, pays tribute to her in an Instagram story:

“Rest in peace Shonka – an incredible talent that was taken from us too soon. What a true honor it was to know her, and I’m so grateful to her for lending her incredible voice to ‘Vegas’. Her wonderful performance in ‘ Elvis’, along with the rest of his art, will live on. My deepest condolences go out to his loved ones.”

According to the Guardian, Shonka Dukureh had a degree in acting and teaching. She has worked as a CE1 teacher as well as for programs for young people from disadvantaged neighborhoods.

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