American blues singer and budding actress Shonka Dukureh was found dead at her home in Tennessee, police said Thursday.
After playing Willie Mae "Big Mama", Thornton in Baz Luhmann's film "Elvis," she was 44.
"Dukureh, who lived in her Kothe Way apartment with her children, was found dead in her bedroom," said the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department in a statement. Unresponsive, one of her children ran to call 911.
Police stated that "no foul play is evident" and scheduled an autopsy to determine the cause.
Tributes pour in for the Charlotte-based singer who made Nashville her home.
"A special light went out this morning," Luhrmann (the "Elvis") director, wrote.
He shared photos of his wife on set and said that the cast and crew were heartbroken.