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Elvis Actress Shonka Dukureh Found Dead

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Shonka Dukureh, a singer and actress who portrayed Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton in the recently released Baz Luhrmann film “Elvis,” died Thursday, according to Nashville police.

Photo Credit: Hollywood Life

Dukureh was found dead in the bedroom of her Kothe Way apartment that she shared with her two young children,” the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said in a statement. One of her children found her unresponsive and ran to alert a neighbor, who called 911, it added

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Post-mortem results are pending from the medical examiner. Director Baz Luhrmann has said he felt “truly blessed” to have had time with Shonka. After hearing the news, Luhrmann shared a series of pictures which included an image of him kissing Dukureh on the forehead while on the set of Elvis.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper complained about the loss of her immense talents in a tweet on Thursday. “Her powerful voice and artistry will live on through her music, and we honor her memory on this sad day,” he wrote.

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