Elvis actor Shonka Dukureh has died at the age of 44.
According to the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department, she was found dead in the bedroom of her Kothe Way apartment that she shared with her two young children.
One of the children found Dukureh unresponsive and ran to a neighbour’s apartment. The neighbour then called 911.
Authorities don’t suspect any foul play, however, they’re awaiting autopsy results from the Davidson County Medical Examiner’s Office for an official cause of death.
“My deepest condolences to the family of Shonka Dukureh. Shonka graduated from Fisk and called Nashville home for many years,” Nashville mayor John Cooper said in a statement on Twitter. “Her powerful voice and artistry will live on through her music, and we honor her memory on this sad day.”
Dukureh was best known to play the role of Big Mama Thornton alongside Austin Butler in the Elvis biopic.
She also appeared onstage with Doja Cat at Coachella this year to collaborate on the song “Vegas” for the Elvis soundtrack.
In April, Dukureh told Shadow and Act about her experience working on the Elvis biopic.
“It’s been amazing and I’m looking forward to doing it all over again,” she said. “It’s just been a dream. I didn’t even know it was a dream [of mine] until I really got there and experienced everything, but it has really been a chance of a lifetime, this life-altering experience.”
Many fans have paid tribute to the singer.
“Shonka Dukureh passing away is so heartbreaking,” one person wrote. “More than just a beautiful voice… she was a mom to two babies. Lord, please wrap her babies and loved ones in love and healing.”
Another person added: “Shonka Dukureh had such a bright future ahead of her man. This is so sad.”
Doja Cat wrote: “Rest in Peace Shonka – an incredible talent taken from us too soon.
“Was a true honour getting to know her and I am so grateful to her for lending her incredible vocals to ‘Vegas’.
“Her amazing performance in Elvis amongst her other artistry will live on. Sending my deepest condolences to her loved ones.”