Jennifer Lopez, JoJo Siwa, Dwayne Johnson and more pay tribute to Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss
Friends, peers and loved ones are mourning the loss of DJ, choreographer and television personality Stephen “tWitch” Boss, who died this week at the age of 40.
The Los Angeles County coroner determined the cause of death to be suicide, ABC News has learned. Boss’ body was found Tuesday at a motel on Ventura Boulevard and he was declared dead at 11:25 p.m. local time.
The television personality is known for being a DJ and frequent guest host on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” He served as the talk show’s DJ until it ended this year. Boss also teamed up with DeGeneres on “Ellen’s Game of Games,” which aired from 2017 to 2021.
Following news of Boss’ death on Wednesday, DeGeneres took to Instagram sharing a photo of her and Boss hugging.
“I’m heartbroken,” DeGeneres wrote. “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.”
Boss’ wife, fellow dancer Allison Holker, issued a statement confirming her husband’s death earlier on Wednesday, saying, “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to share my husband Stephen has left us.”
“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,” she continued. “He was the backbone of our family, the best husband and father, and an inspiration to his fans.”
Holker added, “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 three children.”
In addition to being part of “The Ellen DeGeneres” show, Boss competed on season 4 of “So You Think You Can Dance,” finishing as the runner-up, and returning to the show in following seasons as a featured all-star. He returned as a judge for season 17.
Boss and Holker, a fellow “SYTYCD” alum who competed in season 2 and returned as an all-star in subsequent seasons, married in 2013. They celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary on Dec. 10.
To mark their anniversary, Boss took to social media to share a photo of himself and Holker dancing at their wedding and showing off their wedding bands.
In addition to adopting Holker’s daughter Weslie, from a previous relationship, Boss and Holker shared two children, Maddox Laurel, 6, and Zaia, 3.
Below, see how others are paying tribute to Boss this week.
Jojo Siwa: “My heart is beyond broken.?? twitch was a best friend and a mentor not just to me but to SO many. I’ll never forget our time getting to work together on SYTYCD, he became such a light in my life,” Siwa wrote on Instagram. “Someone I’ve looked up to since I was born turned one of my best friends. Twitch always had the best advice. 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. Sending my most love and prayers to His beautiful wife and 3 perfect kids. ❤️ thank you for sharing your gift with the world. I’m ‘so esssicted’ to see you again one day (A inside joke between us that I will never let go of). Forever the worlds dance dad. Love you brother.?? RIP the legendary Stephen Twitch Boss❤️”
Kalen Allen: “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,” Allen, Boss’ colleague on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” wrote on Instagram. “In a world where it was easy to get lost in the shadows, I am grateful that we always saw each other. We were each other’s number one fan and often the light in each other’s darkest hours. I am very sorry that the darkness found a voice this time and became too loud.”
“On a more personal note, as a queer black man, I want to thank you for seeing me and providing me with a friendship that I didn’t even know could exist,” Allen added. “But how you moved and captured the hearts of the world with your gentle and subtle kindness was the glue that made the puzzle complete. We ended every show encouraging the audience to take whatever light and joy they found in that soundstage and spread it through the world. I promise you I’ll dream the unimaginable. I’ll climb every mountain, and I’ll dance every single dance with your memory as fuel.”
Valentin Chmerkovskiy: “To a man that had touched so many with his beautiful spirit and infectious smile,” the “Dancing With the Stars” pro wrote in a moving tribute. “You will be dearly missed, you will be ferociously celebrated for years to come, and I just hope you knew how much you were loved before you went.”
Kerry Washington: “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,” Washington tweeted. “You never know what people are struggling with or going through. Hug your loved ones. Call your friends. Reach out to people in need. And if you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.”
Julie Bowen: “I did ‘Ellen’ a gajillion times, and every time this sweet man made me smile, laugh and dance (horribly… always horribly),” Bowen wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of her and Boss. “He even came and did a guest spot on Modern Family, and it was like getting a visit from the sun. His lightness, joy and kindness filled every room he entered. It’s terrible to think he was suffering inside. Tell somebody you love them today.”
Octavia Spencer: “I am incredibly saddened to hear about Stephen Boss’, aka DJ tWitch, passing. tWitch brought happiness and light to so many people and he will be dearly missed. My heart goes out to his wife, children, friends, family and fans,” the Academy Award winner wrote on Instagram.
Marlon Wayans: “Bro… i just saw you,” Wayans said in a tribute to Boss on Instagram. “My heart goes out to your wife and kids and your family. Always such a good positive soul. Spoke of reinvention of ourselves in this journey. Rest well my friend. You never know what people are going through. Sorry if we all wasn’t listening. Kiss my mom for me. Love you bro. #toosoon”
Jada Pinkett Smith “I woke up this morning to the news that tWitch is gone,” Pinkett Smith wrote on Instagram. “He was so sweet, kind and generous. So many people suffer in silence. I wish he could have known that he didn’t have to.”
Ariana DeBose: “Like so many, I am stunned. I only crossed paths with Twitch a few times, but the SYTYCD world is small and one thing some may not know is that this man was a light to so many in this industry,” the award-winning actress wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of Boss. “My heart breaks for him, Allison and their family. My prayers are with them in this time of grief. For all the joy we see from outside sources you just never know what someone is going through. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.”
Carrie Ann Inaba: “Heartbroken to wake up to the news that this beautiful soul is no longer in this world with us,” the “Dancing With the Stars” judge wrote on Instagram. “He was a special one. A good man, a husband, an artist, a dancer, an entertainer, a bright light… He was extraordinary. He could do anything and he did it with a joy and grace and some swagger. Twitch, I’m at a loss… my heart seems to be frozen… like I don’t want to exhale, hoping that maybe if I don’t exhale, that someone will correct this horrible mistake. And all will be okay again. My prayers are joining with all the other prayers going out to @allisonholker and your family… sending them love and so much support.”
Maksim Chmerkovskiy: “I’m at a loss for words… I wrote few paragraphs and deleted everything because it’s all so irrelevant right now,” the former “Dancing With the Stars” pro wrote. “I have so much to say, but I just want to hold on to the memories I have and not try to wrap my head around this. Stephen ‘Twitch’ Boss was the only man I’ve met in the entire industry who was loved by absolutely everyone. This makes no sense at all… Rest easy my friend. ?”
Michelle Obama: “I was heartbroken to learn about the passing of Stephen “tWitch” Boss, who I got to know over the years through my Let’s Move! initiative and visits to The Ellen Show,” the former first lady tweeted. “My heart goes out to his wife, Allison, and his three children during this difficult time.”
Jennifer Lopez: “Twitch was such a light and a beautiful soul…? Shocked and deeply saddened. My heart breaks for Twitch, his wife and children ? Sending you love and strength ?,” the singer tweeted.
Billie Jean King: “A bright light lost far too soon,” the tennis legend tweeted. “If you need help, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741. Rest in Peace, Twitch.”
Dwyane Wade: “Anyone who’s had an encounter with tWitch is hurting hearing this news today. ?? Grateful to have had this moment with you in your light,” Wade said in a tweet alongside a video of him and Boss dacing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
Wanda Sykes: “Heartbroken and struggling to make sense of this tremendous loss,” the comedian tweeted. “tWitch’s warmth and energy was unmatched. Sending my love to his wife Allison and their children. If you are struggling or in crisis, call or text 988, help is available.”