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Shonka Dukureh: 5 Things To Know About The ‘Elvis’ Actress Dead At 44

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Shonka Dukureh, 44, who played Big Mama Thornton in Baz Luhrmann‘s highly acclaimed biopic Elvis, has died. The actress and singer reportedly passed away Thursday, July 21, in Nashville, Tennesse. The Metro Nashville Police Department tweeted out details the same day.

“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,” they tweeted. “Dukureh, a Fisk Univ graduate, was found dead in the bedroom of her Kothe Way apt that she shared with her 2 young children.” A cause of death is still pending. Here’s what to know about the talented actress who tragically lost her life today.

She’s a mother of two.

Per The Tennesean, Shonka was found unresponsive on the floor by one of her two young children, who went to a neighbor to get help. Very little is known about her kids, but she did take to Instagram on March 16 to share that she has a son who loves music. “We gone call dis one A Spring Break Exclusive ~ my babies favorite vacation,” she captioned the video, which showed Shonka with a masked young boy, who was jamming on a turntable.

“My first born thoroughly enjoys frequenting guitar center to explore all the happening instruments and gear. He happened upon a very cool turntable set up and let me vibe witem a sec. Grateful to Be His Mom.”

She only has one major film role.

Shonka’s high profile role as R&B singer and songwriter Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton would prove to be her first and only major acting role.  Aside from working with director Baz, she also appeared in her breakout role alongside Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, and Olivia DeJonge, among others.

“I was very aware and wanting to really be intentional about making sure I was paying respect, respecting her, respecting her legacy, respecting her spirit, respecting everything about what she brought to music and understanding that I’m able to do it because she’s done it and laid that foundation,” she said of playing Big Mama Thornton, per The Tennessean.

She’s also a gospel singer.

The multitalented woman is also known as a gospel singer. Nashville Mayor John Cooper lamented the loss of her immense talents in a tweet on Thursday. “Her powerful voice and artistry will live on through her music, and we honor her memory on this sad day,” he wrote.

Shonka reportedly had an album in the works, according to her official website. She was inspired by her role in Elvis, the site said, and the album “is a tribute to the blues music genre in celebration of those fierce unsung pioneering artists and musicians who paved the way for the rock’n roll music revolution.”

Her voice is featured on the movie’s soundtrack.

Performing the legendary song “Hound Dog,” Shonka’s powerful voice can be heard on the Elvis film soundtrack. Big Mama Thornton recorded the Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller hit back in 1952 — years before Elvis would further popularize it in 1956.

She has a graduate degree.

The Tennessean reports that Shonka was highly educated, as well as highly accomplished. The actress reportedly received a bachelor’s degree from Nashville’s Fisk University in theater. She additionally earned a master’s degree in education from Trevecca Nazarene University.

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Kourtney Kardashian Straddles Travis Barker During Drum Practice: ‘Favorite Part Of The Day’

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Image Credit: JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Kourtney Kardashian and her husband Travis Barker are turning up the heat on their red-hot romance! The POOSH founder took to her Instagram on Friday, August 12 to share a set of sassy snaps of the couple getting quite cozy during a drum practice session for the Blick-182 musician. Rocking a white cut-out top and ripped denim, Kourt straddled Travis as he prepared to rock out on his percussion instrument. She coyly captioned the photo album, “Time for drum practice.”

And to prove he can mix his personal life with his professional one, Travis shared a video to his own Instagram where he looks like a whiz on the drum set while packing on the PDA with his gorgeous wife sitting on his lap! Kourt is all smiles as she keeps her arms wrapped around Travis’ neck and keeps smooching his lips with her own. It is quite the feat! Check it out below!

Meanwhile, Kourtney had to get in a more serious mode recently when she called out the person who made fake social media accounts pretending to be her son Mason Disick. Kourt set the record straight after she unsuccessfully hoped it was obvious that the phony posts were not coming from the 12-year-old boy she shares with her ex Scott Disick.

“After months and months of thinking you would all know that is NOT Mason on these fake accounts, some of you don’t,” she wrote. “So I will spell it out clearly: that is NOT Mason on these fake social media accounts talking about our family.” Kourt then went on to ask news outlets to stop using the fake accounts as a source. Before she signed off, the Good American founder added, “And to the person relentlessly pretending to be Mason, ultra ultra ultra creepy.” Ouch!

The backlash from the reality star comes a day after a social media account claiming to be authored by Mason shared a series of posts alleging Kourtney’s younger sister, Kylie Jenner, was planning on walking down the aisle with her baby daddy Travis Scott. The phony account also suggested Kylie was the main attraction at a bridal party. It’s obvious why Kourtney wanted to quickly shut down any notion that her offspring was involved with such gossip.

However, Mason did have his own Instagram account back in 2020, but that was also quickly canceled by protective mama bear Kourt. “He started an Instagram yesterday and didn’t ask us,” Kourt explained in March 2020. “I did delete it because Scott and I just felt like… He’s 10! I think, on Instagram, the thing that really worries me is the comments. People can be so mean.”

As kids do, Mason hilariously found a way to get back on social media at the time by starting up a TikTok Q&A. One fan asked what happened to his original TikTok account, and he explained that it “got deleted because [he] was ‘too young.’”



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Kanye West deletes Pete Davidson post after Kim becomes ‘livid’

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Kanye West deletes Pete Davidson post after Kim becomes ‘livid’

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Jamie Foxx rises again as dad, the vampire hunter, in Netflix’s dreary ‘Day Shift’ | CNN

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CNN
 — 

“Day Shift” is about vampires, but it’s one of those Frankenstein-like movies stitched together from used parts, with Jamie Foxx as a family man version of Marvel’s Blade, mashed up with horror and buddy comedy. It’s the kind of star-driven vehicle that yields obvious benefits to Netflix even if, qualitatively speaking, it doesn’t deserve to see the light of day.

Indeed, Foxx is clearly a favorite of the Netflix algorithm and likes cashing its checks, having starred in the movie “Project Power” and sitcom “Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!” in the last two years, the latter inspired and produced by his daughter, Corinne Foxx.

Parenthood is again at the heart of the plot, such as it is, in “Day Shift,” which could just as easily be titled “Dad: Vampire Slayer.” Foxx plays Bud Jablonski, a bounty hunter (he masquerades as a pool cleaner) struggling to make ends meet financially, suddenly given a major motivation to earn cash: His ex (Meagan Good) is planning to move away from Los Angeles with their young daughter (Zion Broadnax).

Unfortunately, Bud is on bad terms with the international vampire-hunting union, which assigns a nervous office worker, his union rep Seth (Dave Franco), to ride along with Bud and try to catch him committing code violations that will allow them to torpedo his career. That produces lots of banter, bickering and unfortunately, pants wetting, a natural if low-brow response to the new-to-him prospect of getting killed.

“Day Shift” mostly appears to exist for the violent, martial-arts-flavored fight sequences (these vampires are unexpectedly susceptible to getting punched in the face), but after the first encounter in which Bud dispatches an “old lady” who turns out to be a lot more than that, the abundant action yields diminishing returns.

There’s also a disposable villain, Audrey (“How to Get Away With Murder’s” Karla Souza), an ancient vampire who is sucking up real estate in the San Fernando Valley – an apt metaphor for the Southern California’s pricey housing market, perhaps, but otherwise pretty ho-hum as such threats go.

Making his directing debut, veteran stuntman J.J. Perry and writers Tyler Tice and Shay Hatten seek to unearth laughs and fun where they can, which includes having Snoop Dogg on board as a veteran vampire hunter. But like everything else in “Day Shift,” the movie has the feel of being made up as it goes along in between the fight scenes, anemically building toward a loud, long and tedious climactic showdown.

As noted, Netflix has exhibited a thirst for projects with Foxx on the marquee, and “Day Shift” will probably pay off in terms of its minutes-viewed criteria.

Yet while this form of escapism might yield bottom-line dividends thanks to the combination of premise and star, this is the sort of lifeless effort where the prudent advice would be not to quit your day jobs.

“Day Shift” premieres Aug. 12 on Netflix. It’s rated R.

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