The tragic truth about the actress who played Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thorton in “Elvis”


July 2022 was a sad month for entertainment. Not long after losing Godfather actor James Caan, it was announced that comedian Jak Knight (Bust Down) had committed suicide. On July 21, the outlets broke the news of another untimely death of a celebrity.

Shonka Dukureh made her screen debut alongside Austin Butler, Tom Hanks and Dacre Montgomery in the biopic based on the life of Elvis Presley in 2022.

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Unfortunately, it has been confirmed that Shonka died unexpectedly at her home in Nashville, Tennessee. But what was the cause of her death? Here’s what we know.

Source: Warner Bros.

Shonka Dukureh nails Big Mama Thorton’s “Elvis”

The article continues under commercialsWhat was the cause of Shonka Dukureh’s death?

According to TMZ, authorities responded to a 9:30 am emergency call at Shonka’s apartment on Thursday morning. Her neighbor called after one of Shonka’s children found her dead in her bedroom.

At this time, Shonka’s death was only described as her death in her sleep. Although the police do not suspect foul play, her loved ones will have to wait to see the autopsy report to find out what really happened to the actress.

In death, she outlived her two young children.

Source: Facebook / I am Shonka Dukureh

Shonka Dukureh

The article continues under the ad Shonka Dukureh played the role of Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thorton in “Elvis”.

Shonka’s starring role in Elvis quickly made her a fan favorite. But before taking on the role of Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton – made famous by his recordings of “Hound Dog” and “Ball ‘n’ Chain”, which have since been sampled by artists such as Elvis and Janice Joplin – Shonka has sung gospel.

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In addition to his appearance in the film, he provided the voice for Doja Cat’s “Vegas” and made a cameo in the music video.

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Shonka had previously told Shadow and Act about her role in Elvis: “You know what, it’s all great because I know I realize there were a lot of people who could have played the role, or that they had a lot of choices out there that they would have. he could have played the role ”.

“I just wanted him to do justice to Big Mama Thornton and to do her justice in the film,” he added.

The real Big Mama Thorton died at the age of 57 in 1954.

After the announcement of Shonka’s death, fans flooded social media with their condolences. A fan of the singer tweeted: “Sadness. He played Big Mama Thornton in the new Elvis movie and although his appearance was brief, it was a highlight of the film. Heartbreaking. Rest in peace, Shonka.


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