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‘Elvis’ Star Shonka Dukureh Found Dead in Nashville Home at Age 44

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Courtesy of Shonka Dukureh/Instagram

A shocking loss. Elvis star Shonka Dukureh was found dead in her Nashville, Tennesse, home on Thursday, July 21. She was 44.

“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 [University] graduate, was found dead in the bedroom of her Kothe Way apt that she shared with her 2 young children,” read a tweet from the official Metro Nashville PD account on Thursday.

Dukureh’s cause of death was not immediately revealed. A spokesperson for the Davidson County Medical Examiner later confirmed to E! News that the actress’s body is being held for an autopsy, the result of which will be released at a later date.

Prior to her death, the Fisk University graduate took to social media to reflect on her recent experience filming Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic, in which she portrayed Big Mama Thornton, the woman who performs “Hound Dog” years before Presley recorded it in 1956.

“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 earlier this month. “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.”

Costar Olivia DeJonge, who portrays Priscilla Presley, told Entertainment Weekly in June that “a star was born” when Luhrmann cast Dukureh in the role of Big Mama. “[I] saw something in her sort of break free. It was just, it was insane to watch,” the Society alum gushed at the time.

Dukureh, for her part, reposted a clip from Dejonge’s interview, via her Instagram, writing, “Grateful to not only hear her words but the beautiful sentiments of all the cast present as well as Baz. If [you’re] sitting somewhere wondering when, if, folks will get you, just keep on keeping on, the right folks will.”

Elvis, which Luhrmann first announced he would be directing and cowriting in 2014, hit theaters last month — seven years after the creative process began. The movie, which stars Austin Butler in the titular role, follows the “Burning Love” artist during his rise to fame and unprecedented rock ’n’ roll superstardom as he attempts to maintain relationships with the people he holds close, including wife Priscilla and manager Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks).



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Ashton Kutcher Speaks Out About Vasculitis Episode: ‘I Fully Recovered’

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A new update. Ashton Kutcher spoke out after his private battle with a rare autoimmune disorder was revealed via his Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge appearance.

“Before there are a bunch of rumors/ chatter/ whatever out there. Yes, I had a rare vasculitis episode 3yrs ago. (Autoimmune flair up),” Kutcher, 44, tweeted on Monday, August 8. “I had some impairments hear, vision, balance issues right after. I fully recovered. All good. Moving on. See you at the 2022 NY Marathon w/Thorn.”

Earlier on Monday, a sneak peek of the actor’s episode of the National Geographic show, in which he told Bear Grylls that he was “lucky to be alive,” made headlines.

“Like two years ago, I had this weird, super rare form of vasculitis, that, like, knocked out my vision, it knocked out my hearing, it knocked out, like, all my equilibrium,” the That ‘70s Show alum explained.


Ashton Kutcher
Marion Curtis/StarPix for Focus Features/Shutterstock

Vasculitis, which Mayo Clinic defines as “cause the walls of the blood vessels to thicken, which reduces the width of the passageway through the vessel,” can lead to organ and tissue damage.

“You don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone. Until you go, ‘I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to see again, I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to hear again, I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to walk again,’” Kutcher continued in the clip. “The minute you start seeing your obstacles as things that are made for you, to give you what you need, then life starts to get fun, right You start surfing on top of your problems instead of living underneath them.”

Grylls replied, “What do they say in survival? Storms make you stronger. And I think he’s living proof of that.”

During the episode, Kutcher descended from a 300-foot cliff into the jungle in Costa Rica and completed a commando crawl rope challenge.

One of Kutcher’s next TV appearances will be alongside wife Mila Kunis on That ‘90s Show, a Netflix spinoff of the sitcom they met on.


Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis
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“Mila and I were contemplating it,” he told Variety in July. “We thought, ‘Listen, we’re only in the position that we’re in because of that show, so let’s just go back and do this.’ We just went back and had fun for a week. It was so random and fun.”

Kutcher and Kunis, who portrayed Kelso and Jackie, respectively, on the original series, wed in 2015. They share daughter Wyatt, 7, and son Dimitri, 5.

Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge airs on National Geographic Mondays at 9 p.m. ET. Florence Pugh is set to appear in the upcoming episode.

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‘Grease’ Cast Reacts to Olivia Newton-John’s Death

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Kanye Deleted His Instagram Post Mocking Pete Amid Reports That He’s Seeking “Trauma Therapy”

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Kanye West Deleted Post Mocking Pete Davidson Amid “Trauma Therapy” Reports

Just when we thought Kim Kardashian and Kanye West might finally be seeing eye to eye, things just got a little more complicated.

As I’m sure you’ve already heard, Kim and her boyfriend, Pete Davidson, broke up last week after nine months of dating.

Soon after the news surfaced on Friday evening, fans turned their attention to Ye, who, throughout the duration of the highly publicized relationship, made it abundantly clear that he had hopes of rekindling his and Kim’s marriage.

On Monday, Ye eventually gave fans the reaction they’d been waiting for, taking to Instagram to mark the death of “Skete Davidson” — “Skete” being the name he began using in reference to Pete when he first started posting about the comedian on Instagram back in February.

Responding to the breakup, Ye shared a photoshopped image of a New York Times cover, emblazoned with the words: “SKETE DAVIDSON DEAD AT AGE 28.”

After being live on his account for about four hours, and amassing thousands of comments in that time, the post has since been deleted.

Ye’s statement prompted great concern among fans, marking the most recent in a string of online attacks aimed at Pete since the start of the year, with several making reference to his death or causing physical harm.

If you need a refresher, Ye’s public harassment of Pete began in January, when he dropped a new song, “Eazy,” in which he threatened to “beat [his] ass.”

This was followed by a slew of Instagram posts in the following months, whereby Ye called Pete “trash,” a “dickhead,” and even shared their text messages declaring that the Saturday Night Live star would “never” meet his and Kim’s kids.

He posted a screenshot of Kim’s text with a caption that many interpreted to be a threat of violence. “UPON MY WIFE’S REQUEST PLEASE NOBODY DO ANYTHING PHYSICAL TO SKETE I AM GOING TO HANDLE THE SITUATION MYSELF,” the caption read.

Despite Kim’s pleas, things only wound up getting worse over the course of the following weeks after Kanye released a music video for “Eazy.”

The video — which dropped one day after Kim was declared legally single on Mar. 2 — depicted Ye kidnapping and decapitating a claymation version of Pete, ending with the message: “EVERYONE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER EXCEPT SKETE.”

The disturbing footage marked the final straw for many fans, with some calling for Pete to take legal action against Ye.

It was later revealed in leaked text messages that Pete resorted to confronting Ye privately, slamming the rapper for his behavior and calling for him to “grow up.”

“I have your back even though you treat me like shit because I want everything to be smooth. But if you continue to press me like you have for the past 6 months I’m gonna stop being nice,” Pete wrote in the texts with Ye.

And now, following Ye’s latest hit, reports claim that Pete made the decision to seek therapy to help him cope with the online harassment from Kim’s ex and his legion of supporters.

On Monday, a source informed People that Pete has been in “trauma therapy” since the start of April, “in large part” due to Ye’s “threatening posts” throughout February and March.

“The attention and negativity coming from Kanye and his antics is a trigger for [Pete], and he’s had to seek out help,” the insider revealed, adding: “Moving forward he just wants to focus on his career.”

The source also claimed that Pete has no regrets in his decision to pursue a romance with Kim, going on to say that “she’s been nothing but supportive of him.”

With this in mind, other insiders have emerged to say that it was Kim who influenced Ye to delete the post, claiming that she is “not okay with this type of behavior and won’t tolerate her loved ones being treated like this.”

“She has asked numerous times for him to take down the post,” the insider shared with E! News on Monday. “She will always protect Pete.”

They went on to say that the breakup has been particularly difficult for Kim, and that Ye’s post only made matters more upsetting and “tested her mentally.”

Ye’s comment on Kim and Pete’s breakup came shortly after reports that he and Kim were finally coparenting with ease after months of tension between the exes.

On Aug. 4, a source close to the former couple told Us Weekly that they are “very civil with each other and right now, there are no issues.”

After being banned from Instagram for 24 hours in March, Ye took a “hiatus,” during which time he was rumored to have sought “behavioral” treatment.

Neither Kim or Pete have formally addressed their split or Ye’s reaction, but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as they do.

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