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Shonka Dukureh

Source: ELVIS / Warner Bros.

Elvis star Shonka Dukureh was found dead at her Nashville, Tennessee home last Thursday (Jul. 21). The cause of death has been confirmed today. Read more about the actress and musician inside.

According to the coroner’s report obtained by Us Weekly, Dukureh’s official cause of death is “hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.” The document stated that the manner of death was “natural.”

The late actress was “discovered unresponsive in bed by her minor son … [who] ran to the neighbors for help, who then called 911,” the report also noted.

Dukureh recently appeared in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic, where she portrayed Big Mama Thornton, the woman who performed “Hound Dog” years before Presley recorded it in 1956.

Before her unexpected death, Dukureh took a moment to reflect on her social media account about her experience filming.

“Gratefulness is where I live cuz my granny, gmama, momma, family modeled and instilled it in me,” the Tennessee native captioned a clip of her performing. “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.”

The singer was just getting her footing as a globally recognized talent for both her acting and her voice. Dukureh was featured on Doja Cat’s song “Vegas,” which appeared on the soundtrack of the Elvis movie that debuted in June.

Though fans may have just discovered the late entertainer, Dukureh had been tirelessly working at her craft. She began studying theater at Fisk University in her undergraduate program. The Blues singer later obtained her master’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Dukureh left behind two children. The entertainer and her masterful talents will be missed.

Her Legacy Lives On: ‘Elvis’ Star Shonka Dukureh’s Cause of Death Revealed  was originally published on