NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJW) — A coroner’s report revealed the reason behind an actor’s untimely death at her Nashville apartment last month.
Shonka Dukureh, who had recently made her big screen debut in Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” reportedly died of “natural” causes, the report obtained by Us Weekly said.
On July 21, the 44-year-old was “discovered unresponsive in bed by her minor son,” the report said, and he ran to the neighbor’s home for help.
The official cause of death was determined to be “hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.” At the time, officials had said no foul play was found at the scene.
Dukureh had played Big Momma Thornton in the hit summer biopic and was included in the film’s soundtrack, appearing in the single “Vegas” along with Doja Cat. She even performed the tune with the star singer at Coachella earlier this year.
Prior to the film, Dukureh was a touring singer.
Director Baz Luhrmann released a statement on his Instagram following the actor’s death:
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. Shonka was just starting to find a larger audience for her tremendous talent, and I got to see her uplift whole crowds of people at Coachella and beyond. A favorite word of Shonka’s, in daily use, was ‘blessings,’ and I, along with the entire “Elvis” cast, crew and musical collaborators, feel truly blessed to have had time with her. We send all our love and support to Shonka’s children and family at this time.