Ellen DeGeneres 'heartbroken' over death of Stephen 'tWitch' Boss: 'He was my family'

Ellen DeGeneres reacts to Stephen
Ellen DeGeneres reacts to Stephen "tWitch" Boss's death. (Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Ellen DeGeneres is among the stars mourning Stephen "tWitch" Boss, whose death was confirmed by wife, Allison Holker Boss, on Wednesday. Boss was the longtime DJ of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In a statement on social media, DeGeneres said she's "heartbroken" over the passing of her friend and collaborator.

"tWitch was pure love and light. He was my family, and I loved him with all my heart. I will miss him," DeGeneres captioned a photo of her and Boss. The former talk show host asked for "love and support to" the dancer's family.

DeGeneres hired Boss as the DJ of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2014. He later became an executive producer before the program ended in May. The two also worked together on DeGeneres's NBC game show Game of Games. Boss publicly backed the Emmy-winning host when she was accused of facilitating a toxic workplace in 2020.

In an emotional statement, Holker Boss called the entertainer "the backbone of our family, the best husband and father, and an inspiration to his fans." The So You Think You Can Dance alums celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary four days ago. They share three children: Weslie, 14, Maddox, 6, and Zaia, 3.

Boss died on Tuesday, but his cause of death is unconfirmed. TMZ claimed he died by suicide.

Kalen Allen, actor and guest contributor for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, shared a heartfelt message to his "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," the internet personality began. "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."

Allen said he called Boss on Friday for their "usual check-in."

"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. Oh, my friend, you have no idea how your existence alone was revolutionary. To be heard is one thing and to be seen is another. But, to be felt is the true gift, and I hope that as you look down from above, you know that you were never anyone's sidekick, and hell, you weren't even a real DJ, lol," Allen quipped.

"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," the singer-songwriter concluded. "To the man upstairs, please welcome the best dance partner, faux DJ, and host… Stephen 'tWitch' Boss! Take care of him and take care of his family. You've gained an angel who needs no introduction."

Leah Remini, who judged SYTYCD alongside Boss, honored his kindness.

"tWitch was the guy who played and interacted with his fans in the audience during commercial breaks, and he encouraged all the contestants when the cameras weren't rolling," she shared. "He had such a passion and love for dance and guiding artists and the contestants on the show. 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."

SYTYCD Paula Abdul judge called Boss "a beacon of light."

Jada Pinkett Smith, Ciara, Questlove, Alyssa Milano, Ellen Show producer Andy Lassner, Jersey Shore star Pauly D and more reacted to the sad news on social media. "RIPTwitch" has been a trending topic most of the day on Twitter.

Holker Boss frequently posted light-hearted videos of her dancing with her husband. Her most recent Instagram was on Monday. Many of their famous friends left condolences.

"Oh my goodness," said Olivia Munn. "My whole heart is with you and your family."

"God bless you and your beautiful family, I am so sorry," Snooki commented.

"Sisssssssster my heart is broken. I’m sooooo sorry," Tamar Braxton wrote.

"Praying for your family," Larsa Pippen added.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.