Lynn Yamada Davis, ‘Cooking with Lynja’ TikTok Star, Dies at 67

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Lynn Yamada Davis, the beloved social media star behind Cooking with Lynja, has died at age 67.


Davis passes on January 1st at Riverview Medical Center in New Jersey. Her daughter, Hannah Mariko Shofet, told The New York Times that the cause of death was esophageal cancer.

Davis was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2019 and diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2021.

Yamada "Lynja" Davis and Tim Davis attend the 2023 Streamy Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on August 27, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 27: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) (L-R) Lynn Yamada “Lynja” Davis and Tim Davis attend the 2023 Streamy Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on August 27, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

The creator was know for her over-the-top and comedic cooking videos on social media, which she started making during the COVID-19 pandemic. The mother of four and grandmother told PEOPLE last summer that she had “no idea” what TikTok was before her son, Tim, started posting videos of her there.


Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

♬ original sound – Lynja

Davis’ videographer asked her to participate in a month long project to record a video every day at the start of the pandemic. As time went on, the two continued to create cooking videos for YouTube and eventually on TikTok as well. Her videographer, who happens to be her son, helped behind the camera with Davis on screen.


“He’s the one who writes the script. He’s the one who does the videography. He does all the editing. So, he really is the genius behind Cooking with Lynja. I just show up,” Davis said.

Just a few months after starting the videos, the videos blew up online and her fame ‘just started growing after that.”

Now more than three years later, the page has nearly 17.5 million followers. The YouTube page has nearly 10 million subscribers as well with the Instagram account amassing nearly two million followers.

Prior to her social media stardom, Davis had a long career as an engineer. After going to Massachusetts Institute of Technology for her undergraduate degree, she worked for the federal government to make federal buildings accessible.

“She had this whole chapter as a groundbreaking female engineer, and she was very proud of that,” Shofet told The New York Times.

Davis previosly stated to PEOPLE that, while the comments from fans asking her to be their grandmother are sweet,  the travel opportunities have been one of her favorite parts of her internet fame.


In 2022, Davis flew to the United Arab Emirates Forbes’ Women’s Summit, where she was named one of Forbes’ Top 50 over 50 Creators and won a Streamy Award in the editing and food categories.

“It’s definitely a big family affair for us, and it’s very nice,” she said. “We have lots of family memories from this time. It’s just wonderful.”

Since her death, her social media accounts have remained active. Davis asked Tim to continue to post edited videos, according to The New York Times. The account will stop posting after the last Cooking with Lynja videos that feature Davis are uploaded, Tim told the outlet.

“It’s a joy to wake up and know you’re going to have a good day,” Davis said of her life as an influencer. “It is a lovely change in my life, definitely.”

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