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Meet the Memphis actress who landed a role in 'Elvis'

Her performance caught the attention of the King himself, well, actor Austin Butler, who portrayed Elvis.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — 'Elvis' the movie is rockin' the box office!

What you might not know is that Shonka Dukureh from Memphis got to share the spotlight. 

"I am Big Mama Thornton in this film for Elvis," she said. "I sing a bit of Hound Dog."

Her performance caught the attention of the King himself, well, actor Austin Butler, who portrayed Elvis. 

"He came up to me afterwards," she said. "He said, 'Shonka, I didn't know whether or not to pound the table or what as you were singing.'"

RELATED: Memphis fans get All Shook Up at sneak peek of new Elvis film

Elvis made the song world famous, but it was Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton that first put it on a record and helped Elvis catch that Beale Street groove.

"I'm basically part of the whole Beale Street thing that they show in the film, the whole Memphis thing," she said. 

Almost no one visits Memphis without seeing Beale Street, but did Hollywood get it right?

"The way everyone came together to create it ... it was magical," she said. "From everything from the scene to the costumes that people had on. It was beautiful."

RELATED: Elvis Presley's archived wardrobe featured in a new exhibit at Graceland

Shonka has been singing and entertaining since she was nine years old. While she's gathered quite a following along the way, two very special fans of her music stand above the rest. 

"To just have my children sitting in that theater watching me come on the screen, and for them to just scream in the theater, 'That's my mom!', I was so proud," she said.

You can still catch Shonka Dukureh's Hollywood debut in theaters

If you'd like to hear more, she should have a full album of blues songs coming out soon.

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