Stephen ‘Twitch’ Boss, ‘Ellen’ DJ and ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Runner-Up, Dies by Suicide at 40

“He was the backbone of our family, the best husband and father, and an inspiration to his fans,” his wife Allison Holker Boss said

Stephen 'Twitch' Boss Ellen DeGeneres DJ at Fox Upfronts
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Stephen “tWitch” Boss, an all-star competitor on “So You Think You Can Dance” and longtime “Ellen” DJ, has died by suicide. His wife confirmed his passing Wednesday morning in a statement to People. He was 40.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to share my husband Stephen has left us,” said Allison Holker Boss. “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.”

She continued, “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.”

Holker directed the end of her message directly toward her husband, writing: “Stephen, we love you, we miss you, and I will always save the last dance for you.”

According to a report from the Los Angeles Medical Examiner, Boss died Tuesday at a hotel. An investigation is still pending.

DeGeneres paid tribute to Boss on Wednesday, calling him “pure love and light.”

Boss rose to fame through the world of reality dance television, competing on MTV’s “The Wade Robson Project” and becoming a runner-up on “Star Search.” In 2008, he was a runner-up on Season 4 of Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” His performance of “Mercy” with fellow contestant Katee Shean earned an Emmy Award for Oustanding Choreography. A fan favorite, tWitch appeared on the show as an All-Star and mentor for multiple seasons. In 2015, he joined the guest panel during live shows, and was named an official guest for Season 17, which aired Summer 2022.

Boss first collaborated with DeGeneres on her 2013 Academy Awards hosting gig, guest-DJing on “The Ellen Show” the same year. From 2014 until 2022, when the show ended, he became DeGeneres’ resident DJ, hypeman and occasional guest host. He was named a co-executive producer in 2020.

The prolific dancer, choreographer and actor also graced the screen in series and films such as “Hairspray,” the “Step Up” franchise, “Love,” “Modern Family” and “Magic Mike XXL.”

He is survived by Holker Boss, his wife of nine years with whom he recently celebrated his anniversary, and their three children.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is a free, 24/7 confidential service that can provide people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, or those around them, with support, information and local resources.