“He was my family, and I loved him with all my heart.”
Trigger Warning: This piece contains mention of suicide.
On Dec. 13, The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s longtime DJ and co-executive producer Stephen “tWitch” Boss died by suicide. He was 40 years old. His wife, Allison Holker Boss, shared a statement about his death with People on Dec. 14. “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to share my husband Stephen has left us,” she said. “Stephen lit up every room he stepped into. He valued family, friends and community above all else and leading with love and light was everything to him. He was the backbone of our family, the best husband and father, and an inspiration to his fans.”
Alison also honored her husband’s legacy in her statement. “To say he left a legacy would be an understatement, and his positive impact will continue to be felt," she said. “I am certain there won’t be a day that goes by that we won’t honor his memory. We ask for privacy during this difficult time for myself and especially for our three children.”
Boss was well-known as a guest DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which he joined in 2014. Nearly six years later, he scored a permanent slot on the series as a co-executive producer and stayed on until the show’s ending in May 2022. Before his stint on Ellen, Boss rose to fame through his numerous appearances on dance competition shows like The Wade Robson Project, Star Search, and So You Think You Can Dance.
Following the announcement of Boss’ death, countless celebrities posted tributes on social media, including DeGeneres. “I’m heartbroken. tWitch was pure love and light. He was my family, and I loved him with all my heart. I will miss him. Please send your love and support to Allison and his beautiful children - Weslie, Maddox, and Zaia,” she wrote on Twitter.
JoJo Siwa also shared a touching tribute to Boss on Instagram, reminiscing on their time together on SYTYCD. “We had SO many laughs, smiles, and even cries together. I know you’re in a better place now but man we are all gonna miss the hell outta you,” she wrote in part.
Comedian Loni Love shared a video on Twitter of Boss dancing at his 40th birthday party earlier this year. “A kind soul and a sweet person… that is how I will remember Twitch… This was his 40th birthday party… my heart goes out to his family especially Allison and their beautiful kids… this is devastating… I love you brother and will miss you dearly,” she wrote.
Other celebrities to publicly mourn tWitch online included Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake, Leah Remini, and Mario Lopez.
Paula Abdul, another former SYTYCD judge, paid her respects to the dancer on Twitter, as did Questlove, Kerry Washington, and Emmanuel Acho.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.