In Memoriam

Ellen DeGeneres Posts Tribute to Stephen ‘tWitch' Boss After DJ's Death

Ellen DeGeneres said she's heartbroken following the death of Stephen "tWitch" Boss, who was the resident DJ on her show for several years.

Posting on social media hours after news of his death first broke, DeGeneres said Boss was "pure love and light."

"He was my family, and I loved him with all my heart," she wrote. "I will miss him. Please send your love and support to Allison and his beautiful children - Weslie, Maddox, and Zaia."

Boss started DJing for "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in 2014. He eventually became a co-executive producer and frequent guest-host.

He told "Entertainment Tonight" earlier this year that he was having a hard time preparing to say goodbye to the show after it was announced that DeGeneres would be ending the daytime talk series at the end of the 19th season.

"I think the closer that it's getting to the end, naturally, as we do, you start to miss it and you start to soak in all of the little moments where you go, 'Well, maybe I'm not quite ready to say goodbye just yet,'" he said.

A representative told NBC News Boss, who was 40 years old, died by suicide. Further details weren't immediately released and NBC News has reached out to the Los Angeles Police Department and the coroner for comment. 

Boss' wife, Allison Holker released an emotional statement Wednesday.

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to share my husband Stephen has left us," Allison Holker told E! News. "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."

"To say he left a legacy would be an understatement, and his positive impact will continue to be felt," Holker 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. I will always save the last dance for you."

Boss and Holker, who is also a professional dancer, often shared choreographed dancing videos on their social media accounts. Just two days before his passing, the couple posted a video of them dancing together to Alicia Keys' "December Back to June."

Boss is survived by Holker and their three children, Zaia, 3, Maddox, 6, and Weslie, 14.

In 2008, Boss first two-stepped onto the national stage while competing on Season 4 of "So You Think You Can Dance." He was a runner up and became a frequent presence on the show, later served as an All Star and team captain on multiple seasons.

Before the "Ellen" show wrapped, Boss signed on to host E!'s "Clash of the Cover Bands," a music competition series featuring celebrity judges including Meghan Trainor and "American Idol" alum Adam Lambert. E! Network aired one season of the show in late 2021. At the time, Boss said he was having "so much fun" shooting the show.

"I feel like I've got the greatest position because the judges, Ester, Meghan and Adam, they kind of have the hardest job because the talent is serious," Boss said. "For me, I just get to come out and be a cheerleader for everybody. Honestly, it was so much fun. It was literally like a concert every episode." 

No official date for Season 2 has been reported, and with no official cancellation announced, the network has to confirmed that there will even be a second season.

Experts say Boss' death highlights the need for mental health awareness.

"It’s incredibly difficult to spot sometimes because the individual does not want us to see it," said Philip Martinez, a licensed clinical counselor and a board member with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. "Most people have become adept over a lifetime of hiding and letting people see what they want them to see. Even those of us in the profession, when we have close ones or loved ones we lose to suicide, question 'How could we have missed that?' We missed it because they didn’t want us to see it."

Martinez noted that warning signs may not always be noticeable.

"So often we think of the warning signs being the traditional they isolated, they stopped going to events, they stopped showing up to work, but the converse can also be true," he said. "We see them more active, we see a sudden burst of energy, we see them maybe dancing... because perhaps they’ve made that decision and that choice and it brings them a sense of relief. It’s a completely irrational behavior and trying to put rationale sense to it can be an exercise of futility."

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 988, or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741, anytime.

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