Big Mama Thorton In Elvis Dies At 44

Shonka Dukureh From The Movie Elvis, Dies In Nashville Apartment
Shonka Dukureh From The Movie Elvis, Dies In Nashville Apartment

Shonka Dukureh, who played Big Mama Thorton in the movie Elvis, is dead.

She was found dead Thursday in a bedroom at her apartment in Nashville.

According to the Metro Nashville Police Department, there were no signs of foul play.

At the time of this report, autopsy results are pending from the medical examiner.

Big Mama Thorton was 44 years old.

Dukureh is a Fisk University graduate and Nashville singer.

Police say she shared the apartment with her two young children.

One of the children found her unresponsive and went to the apartment of a neighbour, who called 911 shortly before 9:30 a.m.

The “Elvis” actress had a theatre degree from Fisk and graduated from Trevecca Nazarene with an education degree, WPLN-FM reported. 

In an interview with Fox earlier this month, Dukureh revealed she’s been singing in Nashville churches since she was young and is known as one of the best in town. 

In addition, she revealed she taught second grade for a period of time and then worked with inner city youth through after-school and summer programs. 

Dukureh also shared the stage at Coachella this year with rapper Doja Cat. 

Nashville Mayor, John Cooper, put out a tweet expressing his deepest condolences

He complimented the late actress saying

“Her powerful voice and artistry will live on through her music, and we honor her memory on this sad day.”


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