The Tragic Death Of Elvis Actor Shonka Dukureh

Shonka Dukureh, a singer and actor who made her big screen debut in "Elvis," has died. She was 44 years old.

On July 21, the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department took to Twitter to reveal that she had been found dead in her apartment in Tennessee. "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," the tweet read. "Dukureh, a Fisk Univ graduate, was found dead in the bedroom of her Kothe Way apt that she shared with her 2 young children."

While no foul play is suspected, the cause of Dukureh's death remains unknown. Nashville Metropolitan PD confirmed with People that they are still waiting for official autopsy results from the Davidson County Medical Examiner's Office.

With "Elvis" being Dukureh's first role in a major film, it's pretty clear that she was only starting to get her career in Hollywood started. And while she only got the chance to star in a few projects, it didn't stop her colleagues in the industry from celebrating her work and talent.

Tributes pour in for Shonka Dukureh

"Elvis" director Baz Luhrmann didn't waste any time to offer a lengthy tribute to Shonka Dukureh upon learning about her passing. In a post on Instagram, the award-winning filmmaker shared how grateful he was for having the chance to work with her.

"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," he wrote. "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." Meanwhile, singer Doja Cat, who shared the stage with Dukureh in Coachella, also offered a tribute via Instagram Story. "Was a true honor getting to know her and I am so grateful to her for lending her incredible vocals to 'Vegas,'" the "Kiss Me More" singer shared. "Her amazing performance in Elvis amongst her other artistry will live on."

Speaking with Shadow and Act in April, Dukureh shared her excitement about finally reaching her dreams. "It's been amazing and I'm looking forward to doing it all over again," she said of appearing in a big-ticket film. "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."