Ellen DeGeneres Mourns the Loss of Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss: ‘He Was My Family’
Following the heartbreaking news that Stephen Boss has passed away at the age of 40, Ellen DeGeneres and more celebrities are paying tribute to the beloved dancer and host, lovingly referred to as “tWitch.”
The beloved dancer’s wife, Allison Holker Boss, with whom he shared three young children — Weslie, 13, Maddox, 6, and Zaia, 2 — confirmed he died by suicide in a statement on December 14. “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to share my husband Stephen has left us,” Holker Boss said 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.”
“To say he left a legacy would be an understatement, and his positive impact will continue to be felt,” she continued. “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. Stephen, we love you, we miss you, and I will always save the last dance for you.”
Among his many accomplishments, tWitch was the DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show from 2014 to its series finale in 2022, serving as an executive producer starting in 2020. DeGeneres shared a photo of them hugging on the Ellen set in her tribute.
“I’m heartbroken. tWitch was pure love and light,” she writes. “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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/lW8Q5HZonx
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 14, 2022
tWitch made his TV debut on So You Think You Can Dance Season 4 in 2008, finishing in second place. Holker came in 8th in Season 2, and the two worked together on Season 7 as all-stars, which led to their relationship. They married in 2013 at SYTYCD creator Nigel Lythgoe‘s winery. In 2022, tWitch became a judge on SYTYCD Season 17 alongside JoJo Siwa and Leah Remini.
Remini paid tribute to her co-judge by sharing a video from set and a touching message, saying “tWitch was always so kind to me and everyone who worked so hard behind the scenes. tWitch was the guy who played and interacted with his fans in the audience during the commercial breaks, and he encouraged all the contestants when cameras weren’t rolling.”
“He had such a passion and love for dance and guiding artists and the contestants on the show,” she continued. “tWitch adored his wife, Allison, and their three kids more than anything. He would talk about them all the time with such pride. He had a laugh and smile that lit up the whole room.”
Rest easy, tWitch. pic.twitter.com/jpynT2TKhy
— Leah Remini (@LeahRemini) December 14, 2022
tWitch was a beloved figure in the dance world, and through his film and TV appearances and his long stint on Ellen, he spread joy and kindness through his artistry. He and Holker continued that energy through their frequent dance videos on social media, which often showcased their children.
tWitch celebrated his 40th birthday on September 29, and he and Holker just celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary on Saturday, December 10.
To my beloved friend, confidant, and brother…
God knows, my heart is at a standstill because I have never known a friend like you. No words, dance, or show can adequately capture just how magnificent your existence was to this world and me. pic.twitter.com/hm0sbefcpw
— Kalen Allen (@TheKalenAllen) December 14, 2022
RIP Twitch. This is just devastating. He was 40. He leaves behind a wife and 3 kids and a legacy of joy and beautiful dance. SMH. This is just very sad.
— roxane gay (@rgay) December 14, 2022
You’ll be missed by brother. You’ll be missed. Thanks for always laughing and smiling with me.
Stephen “tWitch” gone way too soon 💔💔💔. RIP tWitch. pic.twitter.com/rxthGUTPLZ
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) December 14, 2022
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. pic.twitter.com/qkmsM3aodT
— loni love (@LoniLove) December 14, 2022
Rest, my friend. pic.twitter.com/BfRhkObAkO
— andy lassner (@andylassner) December 14, 2022
What is going on?! This news has broken my heart. I’ve loved him since #SYTYCD. He was always so joyful & full of life. Always.
If you are feeling despair PLEASE call 988. #PleaseStay
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) December 14, 2022
My son just called me to let me know tWitch, Stephen Boss, has passed. I send love & will pray for Allison Holker & their 3 children.I am so sad- his joyful talent lit up our hearts from the time my kids were small. Hold your loved ones dear!!This life is not promised to anyone..
— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) December 14, 2022
so heartbreaking. tWitch was an inspiration to so many, and in so many worlds- but especially to the dancing world. a true trailblazer and light. he will be deeply missed. sending love to allison and the entire family. https://t.co/ArVaUk3KYI
— Laurie Hernandez (@LaurieHernandez) December 14, 2022
i met twitch recently and it was one of the most positive experiences i’ve ever had. sending love to his family.
y’all take care of and check on your people. please. https://t.co/rx45JpLM2u
— joy oladokun is in crocs. (@joyoladokun) December 14, 2022
RIP TWITCH. Damn. pic.twitter.com/tF2XBhqYEI
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) December 14, 2022
The world lost a bright light today. Twitch brought joy and love to people all over the world through music and through dance. My heart is heavy today for his family and all of those who knew and loved him. pic.twitter.com/VmvxFgOF5d
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) December 14, 2022
Thank you for being a joy-bringer, tWitch. Sometimes, joy-bringers carry unseen heavy burdens. 🖤 pic.twitter.com/xh9zB2Z6MO
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) December 14, 2022
Shocked and saddened to hear the news of @official_tWitch death. Twitch was a warm, joyful, and loving person that I had the honor of working with on tv a bit. Always the most genuine and down to earth and humble energy. Sending his family my deepest sympathies. #RIPTwitch pic.twitter.com/zXV1Ybs48M
— ADAM LAMBERT (@adamlambert) December 14, 2022
Damn this is sad news.
sending prayers to Stephen “tWitch” Boss’s family and friends. ❤️🙏 RIP TWITCH
— DJ Pauly D (@DJPaulyD) December 14, 2022
RIP to tWitch. went to church with him when i was younger and he was the only person we knew who’d made it out of Montgomery at the time. this is so sad. 💔 https://t.co/ps7QIbubSc
— CHIKA 🌪 (@oranicuhh) December 14, 2022
Live. Love. Go deep. Reach out. Listen. Hold someones hand and heart. This time of year is most difficult. There is always light in the darkness. You will be okay. Hold on. Live. ❤️❤️✨❤️✨✨✨✨ RIP Twitch.
— Colman Domingo (@colmandomingo) December 14, 2022
Sometimes the happiest looking people from the outside are struggling on the inside. RIP Twitch #RIPTwitch
— Tommy Chong (@tommychong) December 14, 2022
RIP Twitch. You were an absolute light in this world- and pure joy to be around. Please reach out if you need help, and check in with your loved ones. This can be a difficult time of year for many. My thoughts are with his family. pic.twitter.com/5HaEskHPL0
— Matt Bomer (@MattBomer) December 14, 2022
The dance community is hurting today. RIP Twitch 😔
— Cole Alexander Mills (@mr_colemills) December 14, 2022
DEVASTATED by the death of my friend @official_tWitch! 💔 Just gutted by this news.
Twitch was a genuinely good guy. He kept checking in & encouraging me during my Executive Producer negotiations at “SHERRI.”
My prayers for his family! 🙏🏽 RIP Twitch.
(My fav pic of us) pic.twitter.com/TBIYe0L7d9
— Jawn Murray (@JawnMurray) December 14, 2022
If you are affected by any of the issues discussed in this article, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s toll-free number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).