Who is Anna Shay? | 5 things to know about the ‘Bling Empire’ star

Netflix’s reality show Bling Empire star Anna Shay has passed away at the age of 62 after suffering a stroke. Her family released a statement expressing their sorrow and describing her as a loving mother, grandmother, and a bright ray of sunshine. As the world mourns for Anna Shay and her vibrant presence, here are five key things to know about the beloved Bling Empire star.

The life of Bling Empire star Anna Shay

1) Background and heritage

The story of Anna Shay’s life has been fascinating right from her birth and even before it. While the Bling Empire star was born and raised in Japan, her parents were not originally Japanese. The Shay family’s heritage played a significant role in shaping Anna’s life.

Her father, Edward Shay, was an American businessman and the founder of Pacific Architects and Engineers, a renowned global defense contractor. Her mother, Ai Oizumi Shay, was of half-Japanese and half-Russian descent. 

2) Inheritance and fortune

Anna Shay leaves behind a legacy of success and fortune that began early in her life. After her father’s death in 1995, Anna Shay and her brother, Allen Shay, became heirs to the Pacific Architects and Engineers fortune. 

Later, in 2006, the siblings sold the company to Lockheed Martin. This solidified their substantial wealth as the deal was worth over $1.2 billion.  She sold her Beverly Hills mansion in 2021 for $13.9 million.

3) Netflix’s Bling Empire

It was not until 2021 that Anna Shay managed to grab global attention thanks to her appearance on Netflix’s reality TV series, Bling Empire. The show offered an up close and personal look at the extravagant lives of rich Asian American socialites in LA. 

Simply put, if Crazy Rich Asians were a reality TV show, it would be Bling Empire. In the series, Anna Shay’s down-to-earth nature and iconic lines like “There are more things in life than superficial bulls**t,” earned a special place in viewers’ hearts.

4) An unexpected internet icon

Anna Shay’s journey to becoming a reality TV star was unexpected. She once said that she had no idea about her role in the show. In fact, she didn’t know what to do with the money she earned for Bling Empire.

Despite her initial shyness, Anna embraced the opportunity and brought her authentic self to the show. This turned her into a fan favorite as well as an internet icon. For an influencer in her late 50s and 60s, Anna surprised everyone by accumulating over 500k Instagram followers. 

5) Personal life

Bling Empire star Anna Shay has been married and divorced four times. However, none of her wealth comes from her ex-husbands. While the splits were reportedly amicable, she has never revealed the identities of her former partners. 

Anna Shay Bling Empire
Image courtesy of Anna Shay’s family

From one of the marriages, Anna Shay has a 27-year-old son named Kenny Kemp, who also appeared briefly on Bling Empire. Kenny has a collection of bongs worth around $500,000 stored in Anna’s basement.

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