Gospel singer, 'Elvis' actress Shonka Dukureh dead at 44

July 22 (UPI) -- Gospel and blues singer Shonka Dukureh, who recently appeared in the musical movie, Elvis, has died at the age of 44.

"No foul play is evident in today's death of actress Shonka Dukureh, 44, who portrayed Big Mama Thornton in this year's Elvis movie," the Nashville Metro Police Department tweeted Thursday.


"Dukureh, a Fisk Univ graduate, was found dead in the bedroom of her Kothe Way apt that she shared with her 2 young children."

The former teacher's official cause of death will be determined after the Davidson County Medical Examiner's Office completes an autopsy and toxicology tests.

Dukureh appeared onstage with Doja Cat at the Coachella music festival this year.

The artists had collaborated on the song "Vegas" for the Elvis soundtrack.

On July 13, Dukerah posted on Instagram: "Gratefulness is where I live cuz my granny, gmama, momma, family modeled and instilled it in me.

"It isn't a posture of less than or crumbs scraping, but one that acknowledges good things aren't a guarantee and when we encounter them thankfulness, gratefulness is the least we can express."


Notable Deaths of 2022

Anita Pointer
Anita Pointer of the Grammy-winning Pointer Sisters stands with Andy Madadian (C) and La Toya Jackson (L) as Madadian is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2020. Pointer, who performed alongside her sisters June and Ruth, died at the age of 74 on December 31 following a battle with cancer. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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