The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Dancer and ‘Ellen’ DJ Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss dies at 40

Stephen “tWitch” Boss appears on the “Today” show in July. On Wednesday, his family announced his death at age 40. (Nathan Congleton/NBC/Getty Images)
3 min

DJ, dancer and television personality Stephen “tWitch” Boss has died at 40, his family announced Wednesday.

“Stephen lit up every room he stepped into,” his wife, Allison Holker Boss, wrote in a statement. “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.”

TMZ first published the news of Boss’s death. He died by suicide on Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

Boss rose to prominence competing in 2003 on MTV’s “The Wade Robson Project” and the television program “Star Search.” He competed in 2008 on the reality competition series “So You Think You Can Dance,” on which he placed as a runner-up and later returned as an all-star. Earlier this year, Boss appeared on the show as a judge.

On Wednesday, producers at Fox Entertainment, 19 Entertainment and Dick Clark Productions issued a statement in memory of Boss.

“We will always remember Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss for the light and joy he brought into our lives and into the hearts of so many,” they wrote. “This tragic, painful loss of such a radiant, inimitable talent and beloved friend is immeasurable beyond words, and we grieve alongside his family, loved ones and fans. ‘tWitch,’ we will miss you dearly.”

In 2014, Boss joined “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” as a DJ. He was promoted to co-executive producer for the talk show’s final two years, seemingly as a demonstration of DeGeneres’s support for him in light of broader behind-the-scenes controversy, and remained part of the show until its finale in May.

DeGeneres tweeted Wednesday that she was “heartbroken” by his passing. “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.”

After news of Boss’s death broke, fans shared clips on social media of his various performances from television appearances and films, including multiple installments in the Step Up dance film franchise and 2015’s “Magic Mike XXL.” In the latter, he danced in the finale showcase alongside star Channing Tatum.

Tatum posted a photo of himself with Boss to Instagram on Wednesday evening. “I have no words,” he wrote. “There aren’t any. My head or heart can not understand this. There is just so much… i don’t know where to begin. I love you. I’ll see you again my friend. Until then.”

Boss’s wife is also a dancer, and the two often performed together — sometimes with their children — in videos posted to TikTok. In the Wednesday statement, she said she was “certain there won’t be a day that goes by that we won’t honor his memory.”

She added: “Stephen, we love you, we miss you, and I will always save the last dance for you.”

If you or someone you know needs help, visit or call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.