Stephen “tWitch” Boss, the former DJ on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” has died, his wife confirmed to CNN and People on Wednesday. He was 40.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to share my husband Stephen has left us,” Boss’ wife, Allison Holker Boss, told People in a statement. “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.”
DeGeneres, who was close friends with Boss, also posted a statement on her Instagram account.
“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,” she wrote as a caption to a photo of the two hugging.
Boss is survived by his wife, fellow dancer and TV host Holker Boss, and his children, 3-year-old Zaia, 6-year-old Maddox and 14-year-old Weslie. The family often posted videos of themselves dancing on social media and their YouTube account.
Boss died on Tuesday, according to records from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner emailed to HuffPost. Boss’s case notes that his place of death was a motel/hotel and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was suicide, according to People and TMZ, which first reported the news.
HuffPost has reached out to the Los Angeles Police Department for comment.
The Alabama native, dancer and television personality rose to fame as a runner-up on “Star Search,” People reported. Boss later competed on “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2008, and ended season four as a runner-up. He later returned to the show as an all-star and became a judge when the show returned in 2022.
He was best known for his DJing and co-hosting stint on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which began in 2014 and lasted until the show’s conclusion in May 2022.
During his tenure on the daytime talk show, Boss was beloved for moments like when he taught then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton how to whip and nae nae. Boss also acted as DeGeneres’s right-hand man on the spinoff series “Ellen’s Game of Games.”
DeGeneres gave a loving tribute to Boss during the final episode of her talk show earlier this year, explaining that she met him due to her love for “You Think You Can Dance.” She got the opportunity to work on a dance with him, which they performed on the reality competition show in 2010.
“It was a crash course in getting to know each other and he was so patient with me,” DeGeneres said of Boss on her finale. “And that was my initial love for him — we bonded over learning to dance together.”
“I count on him to look over at me and make silly jokes and he’s my pal,” DeGeneres also said. “He’s my sidekick because we have this connection ... and he makes me laugh. He really, really makes me laugh.”
DeGeneres emphasized how strong of a bond the two shared, and that they always told one another how much they loved each other at the end of the workday.
“He says, ’love you much,” and I say, ‘I love you,’” she said at the time. “So he’s never going to be out of my life. He’s always a part of my life.”
Boss was profoundly touched by DeGeneres’s send-off to him on her show.
“Something I will always remember is that you gave me a place where I can just be myself,” Boss told DeGeneres while crying.
HuffPost reached out to representation for Boss, Holker Boss and DeGeneres for comment.
If you or someone you know needs help, dial 988 or call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also get support via text by visiting suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.