Stephen 'tWitch' Boss, 'Ellen' show DJ and SYTYCD dancer, dies at 40, LA County coroner says

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Thursday, December 15, 2022
Stephen 'tWitch' Boss dies at age 40
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Stephen "tWitch" Boss, the amiable DJ for "Ellen DeGeneres Show" and dancer who rose to fame on "So You Think You Can Dance," has died.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Stephen "tWitch" Boss, the amiable DJ for "Ellen DeGeneres Show" and dancer who rose to fame on "So You Think You Can Dance," has died by suicide at the age of 40, officials said.

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to share my husband Stephen has left us," his wife, fellow dancer Allison 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. 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 3 children. Stephen, we love you, we miss you, and I will always save the last dance for you," she said.

Boss was pronounced dead shortly before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at an Encino motel in the 17000 block of Ventura Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. After an initial call for an "ambulance investigation," officers responded to a report of a death at the location, an LAPD spokesperson said.

The case was not deemed suspicious, police said. Boss' body was examined by the Los Angeles County coroner's office, which said Wednesday that the official cause of death was suicide involving a gunshot wound to the head.

"I'm heartbroken," DeGeneres said in a tweet. "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."

Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Boss earned his nickname as a child when he couldn't sit still. He graduated from Lee High School in Montgomery in 2000 and went on to study Dance Performance at Southern Union State Community College and Chapman University.

Six years ago he spoke with author and former football player Lewis Howes for the latter's podcast and talked about his background, including being raised by a single mother and how his relationship with his absentee father helped shape him.

"I have always been that type 'Don't tell me what I won't do,'" Boss said. "I remember talking to [his father] outside of his work in the parking lot and telling him 'Hey, I'm joining the dance team. I'm going to need some shows and some money to get supplies' and he went on this tangent...I was like 'Oh, that means I'm really supposed to do this then.'"

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In 2003, Boss was a semifinalist on MTV's "The Wade Robson Project" and was also a runner-up on the television talent competition, "Star Search."

Becoming a runner up on "So You Think You Can Dance" in 2008 marked the beginning of his rise to fame and he would later return to serve as a judge for the dance competition.

Ellen DeGeneres brought him on as the DJ of her popular daytime talk show in 2014, a job he held until the show went off the air this year. DeGeneres also added him on as an executive producer of the show.

He stayed in touch with fans via his popular social media accounts, often sharing videos of him dancing with his wife.

The pair were all-star dancers on Season 7 of "So You Think You Can Dance" in 2010 and connected romantically.

"We shared a dance at the wrap party of that season of 'So You Think You Can Dance' and we have been together ever since," Boss told People in February.

"There was no dialogue, there was no conversation or a first hangout. Literally, we danced and we were together holding hands the very next day," Holker Boss added. "And we never looked back."

The pair are the parents of three children. Boss' final Instagram post on Monday showed him and Holker Boss dancing in front of a Christmas tree.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health matters, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 to connect with a trained counselor or visit the NSPL site.