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Shonka Dukureh in Elvis

Blues singer Shonka Dukureh, who recently starred in Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic elvisdied, The Tennessee reports. Nashville police reported that Dukureh, who played influential singer Big Mama Thornton in Luhrmann’s film, was found in the bedroom of the apartment she shared with her two children. Dukureh was 44.

According to Dukureh’s website, she was originally trained as a primary school teacher before turning to music. (Per THRshe continued to work with children through after-school and summer programs even as she pursued her career as an artist.) elvis was her film debut after a few years Worked as session music with a number of artists including Jamie Liddell and Nick Cave. She played Thornton in Luhrmann’s film and also appeared in the film’s soundtrack, belts out the version of “Hound Dog” that inspires Austin Butler’s Elvis to perform the song himself. In addition to her appearance in elvisDukureh also recently appeared in a music video for Doja Cat and was preparing for the release of her first album. The lady sings the blues.

In an interview about the film, Dukureh said of Thornton: “[Big Mama Thornton] was really raw with what she was doing and very honest and honest and [made] music as she felt it. And I can wholeheartedly agree with that…I was very aware and really wanted to purposely make sure that I respect her, respect her, respect her legacy, respect her spirit, respect everything she has contributed to the music and understand that I am capable of doing it do because she did it and laid that foundation.”

There is no known cause of death, although the Nashville Metro Police Department has reported that there was no suspicion of foul play. Nashville Mayor John Cooper praised it to Dukureh on social media today to pay tribute to her career as an educator and performer. Elvis actress Shonka Dukureh found dead at 44

Elvis actress Shonka Dukureh found dead at 44 – TheHitc

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