Anna Shay, 'Bling Empire' Star, Dead at 62

The reality TV breakout star died of a stroke. 

Anna Shay, the Bling Empire cast member and breakout reality TV star, has died of a stroke, ET has confirmed. She was 62 years old. 

"It saddens our hearts to announce that Anna Shay, a loving mother, grandmother, charismatic star, and our brightest ray of sunshine, has passed away at the early age of 62 from a stroke," her family said in a statement shared with ET. 

They added, "Anna taught us many life lessons on how not to take life too seriously and to enjoy the finer things. Her impact on our lives will be forever missed but never forgotten."

Shay first rose to television fame on the Asian-centric docu-reality series, Bling Empire, which ran for three seasons on Netflix, from January 2021 to October 2022. The series chronicled the extremely wealthy lives of Los Angeles-based Asian Americans and even led to a spinoff, Bling Empire: New York, before the franchise was canceled. 

Shay, who was of Japanese and Russian descent, was portrayed as the matriarch of the show's many young socialites, including Kevin Kreider, Kane Lim, Christine Chiu, Gabriel Chiu and Kelly Mi Li, among others.

"This is such a huge shock. I have so much love for Anna. I know that we had issues on the show but in real life, I had such a great connection with her outside of the show. We saw eye to eye, and she gave me so many words of wisdom I will never forget.," Kim Lee said in a statement.

She added, "There's no one like Anna Shay; she's an incredible and unique person who was beloved by so many people. My thoughts are with her family at this difficult time."

Li, meanwhile, posted to Instagram about her friend and co-star's death. 

First seen on the series donning a gown as she took a sledgehammer to one of her closet walls, Shay quickly became a fan favorite. In another moment early on in the show, she flew Li to Paris so the two could go on a shopping spree. She also served as a mentor to Kreider, who found himself new to the wealthy world of his socialite friends. 

While portrayed on the series as an eccentric divorcee with a penchant for DIY and gift-giving, Shay first aspired to be part of her family's business. But according to Town & Country, her brother, Allen Shay, was chosen to take the reins. However, much of her fortune came from the selling her father's company, Pacific Architects and Engineers, in 2006. 

With business not an option for her at the time, Shay "got married," she told the magazine. Later, she said on Bling Empire that "even the divorce part was good" when it came to her four marriages.  

Shay had one son, Kenny Kemp, who, according to BuzzFeed News, is an avid collector of cannabis paraphernalia.

Reportedly a bit of a recluse who split her time between Paris and Los Angeles prior to appearing on Bling Empire, she told Town & Country in 2021 she was "thrilled" to be part of the series.