anna shay parents
Source: netflix

Every 'Bling Empire' Fan Is Dying to Know Just How Anna Shay Came Into so Much Money


Feb. 8 2021, Updated 10:54 a.m. ET

If you're reading this, we probably don't need to tell you that Bling Empire is easily the best unscripted show Netflix has ever released.

The reality series, which premiered its inaugural season on Jan. 15 (we definitely need more already), introduced unsuspecting fans to the lives of extraordinarily wealthy Los Angeles Asians, who, perhaps surprisingly, proved themselves to be both fascinating and multi-faceted.

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Our absolute favorite person on Bling Empire was none other than the extraordinary Anna Shay, who doesn't miss a single opportunity to drop bits of wisdom to the audience or her other friends ("There are consequences to everything in life," she says at one point. At another: "I don't feel this need to compete. I find it fiercely annoying.")

So, who exactly is this aspirational diva? And who are Anna Shay's parents? Keep reading.

anna shay parents
Source: netflix
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Who are Anna Shay's parents?

We know Anna Shay as the 60-year-old mother of 27-year-old Kenny Kemp. Anna has had four joyous marriages and four delightful divorces, as she tells it on the series.

Her son, who we meet at the bowling alley where Anna travels to join her gaggle of younger friends, turns out to have quite a successful enterprise of his own: collecting five-figure glass bongs and rigs.

As the "sole heir to hundreds of millions of dollars," Kenny has built his own glass empire. "When you're hanging out in his mother's basement," a 2015 Buzzfeed profile reads, "you can smoke out of a black Glock, a bear shaped like a honey container, or a monkey in a suit smoking a cigarette and holding a banana like a gun."

And where exactly do these hundreds of millions of dollars that he's meant to inherit come from, you might ask?

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Well, Anna Shay's parents, Edward Shay and Ai-San Shay, made an absolute fortune from their businesses in exports.

Edward, who hailed from the South Side of Chicago, founded Pacific Architects and Engineers back in 1955, a private defense company whose clients include countries like the United Kingdom and the United States.

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Anna's mother, Ai-San, who was Japanese and Russian, passed away in 2015, 20 years after Edward. She came from a family who exported pearls and silk flowers. According to Reality Titbit, the late couple bonded over the fact that they worked in exports, and met during the second World War.

"My mother said, 'You were born in a crystal ball with a silver spoon,'" Anna told Oprah Magazine. She went on to share an anecdote from her childhood, back when she had a pet monkey and was afraid her pet wouldn't be allowed to ride in the airplane with her.

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"She had a bottom seat in Pan Am but I wanted her to sit next to me," she revealed. "My dad said, 'Walk in and know who you are, where you come from.' My parents would always say that throughout my life." 

Anna's pet monkey was able to sit by her side.

In 2006, the socialite and philanthropist sold her father's company along with her brother for a whopping $1.2 billion. Assuming she and her brother went half and half on the split, the legendary Anna is currently worth upwards of $600 million.

Bling Empire is available to stream on Netflix now.

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