Actress Shonka Dukereh, who stars in the new Elvis Presley film, has died aged 44.
TMZ reported that she was first discovered by one of her young children in her Nashville apartment on Thursday morning (22 July).
In her latest project Shonka played blues singer Big Mama Thornton in the new Elvis biopic.
On discovering her body her child is said to have alerted a neighbour who then called 911 for help.
Police told TMZ that Shonka had been found dead inside a bedroom in her flat.
They added that there is no foul play suspected in her death, though investigators will be awaiting autopsy reports before determining a cause of death.
Shonka’s other work included a starring role in Doja Cat’s Vegas music video, where she also appeared as Big Mama Thornton.
Her last post to Instagram was three days ago and featured a video of a soul group performing at the 2019 International Black Film Festival.
She wrote: “Monday Mawnin’ Fill- Up 7.18.22. God Is Trying to Tell You Something (Color Purple)
“Respect to Tata Vega. Respect Quincy Jones.
“2019 International Black Film Festival as part of the Sounds of Cinema Live presentation~”
The late 44 year old actress added: “#sacredsoulmusic #iamshonkadukureh #onpurpose”
Her 3,000 followers flooded the comments section to pay their condolences, with one commenting: “So sad to hear of your passing. Gone too soon. Sending lots of love to your babies and loved ones.”
Another said: “I can’t believe it. My condolences and prayers to her family.”
A third wrote: “So much talent! Gone too soon. RIP Queen.”
“Rest In peace queen,” commented another, before a fifth person said: “Rest easy angel. Your voice touched me.”
And a sixth person stated they couldn’t believe the news, writing: “I can’t believe it. My condolences and prayers to her family.”
Elvis director Baz Luhrmann has paid tribute to the late Shonka Dukureh following news of her death, with him describing her as having had “tremendous talent”.
Baz, 59, took to Instagram to pay his respects, writing: “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.”
Included with his tribute to the actress was a series of photos of Shonka, including one of him on set with her.
He continued: “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.”
Baz concluded his tribute, writing: “We send all our love and support to Shonka’s children and family at this time.”