Erica Kennedy, whose 2004 novel Bling was a New York Times bestseller and who was once named as one of the 100 most influential African-Americans, has died at the age of 42. Her body was reportedly found at her home in Florida, and no cause of death has been revealed so far.
Kennedy worked as a publicist for leading fashion figures such as Tommy Hilfiger and Sean Combs, also writing on fashion and entertainment topics for a variety of magazines and websites. She was also known for her friendship with the model Kimora Lee-Simmons.
Bling was a considerable hit when it was first released by Miramax Books, and her second (and last) novel Feminista follows in 2009 from St Martin’s Press. The story of a young girl who enters the complex world of the hip-hop industry, Bling was later optioned for a possible film adaptation which has yet to go into production.