Shonka Dukureh's cause of death revealed

·2-min read
Shonka Dukureh's cause of death revealed - Instagram credit:Bang Showbiz
Shonka Dukureh's cause of death revealed - Instagram credit:Bang Showbiz

Shonka Dukureh died of "hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease".

The 'Elvis' actress - who portrayed Big Mama Thornton in the recent movie - was found dead at her home in Nashville, Tennessee, aged 44 last month, and it's now been confirmed the manner of her passing was "natural".

According to the coroner’s report obtained by Us Weekly, the actress was "discovered unresponsive in bed by her minor son … [who] ran to the neighbours for help, who then called 911".

A tweet on the official Metro Nashville Police Department page also read: "BREAKING: 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. Dukureh, a Fisk Univ graduate, was found dead in the bedroom of her Kothe Way apt that she shared with her 2 young children."

Shonka was renowned as a gospel singer in her hometown of Nashville before acting, and taught local kids.

Her role in ‘Elvis’ was initially set to be off screen, but she was later asked to appear in front of the camera.

As well as starring in the movie, Shonka was also known to Doja Cat fans after she appeared as Big Mama Thornton in the singer’s music video for the soundtrack song ‘Vegas’.

She also joined Doja, 26, on stage earlier this year to sing the tune at Coachella.

Thornton had a huge impact on a young Elvis, who made her song ‘Hound Dog’ world famous with his 1956 cover.

Following Shonka's death, 'Elvis' director Baz Luhrmann admitted he and the cast of the film had been left devastated by the sudden passing.

He wrote on Instagram: "A special light went out today and all of the Elvis movie family are heartbroken by the loss of Shonka Dukureh.

"From the moment she came into our world, Shonka brought joy, spirit and of course her voice and her music. Whenever she was on set, on stage or even just in the room, everyone always felt uplifted."