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Stephen "tWitch" Boss, dancer and "Ellen" show DJ, dead at 40

DJ, dancer and producer tWitch, whose real name is Stephen Boss, has died at the age of 40. His death was confirmed by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office and the Los Angeles Police Department.

At around 11:20 a.m. local time Tuesday, officers were dispatched to a motel in the Encino neighborhood on a call of an "ambulance death investigation," the LAPD said in a statement Wednesday. Investigators said Boss' death was a suicide.

Boss and his wife, Allison Holker, are both dancers who appeared on the competition series "So You Think You Can Dance?" and "Dancing with the Stars." The couple married in 2013 and marked their ninth wedding anniversary this week. They share three children.

Boss appeared on five seasons of "So You Think You Can Dance?" and one season of "Dancing with the Stars." He was also the resident DJ on the "Ellen DeGeneres Show," which he joined in 2014.

In 2020, he was named co-executive producer of the show, and also filled in as host several times. When the show ended earlier this year, DeGeneres paid homage to Boss. "Over a decade ago, I met someone who changed my life and our show," DeGeneres said. "I'm talking about you, tWitch." She then played a video package highlighting his time on the show. 

On Wednesday, the host posted a message about Boss on the show's Instagram account. "I'm heartbroken. tWitch was pure love and light. He was my family, and I loved him with all my heart. I will miss him," she wrote, sharing a photo of them hugging. "Please send your love and support to Allison and his beautiful children - Weslie, Maddox, and Zaia."

Boss has appeared in several movies, many of them dance-focused, such as "Hairspray," "Stomp the Yard 2," "Magic Mike XXL" and several installments of the "Step Up" series.

This year, Boss and Holker starred alongside each other in the TV holiday special, "The Hip Hop Nutcracker," playing parents.

The couple often posts videos together on TikTok and Instagram and have a large following. They posted a dancing video together just two days before his death.

Last month, the pair appeared on the "Jennifer Hudson Show" and spoke about their three children, 14-year-old Weslie, who is from a previous relationship of Holker's, 6-year-old Maddox, and 3-year-old Zaia. Holker revealed on the show that they'd love to have more children. 

Holker confirmed her husband's death in an exclusive statement to People: "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 said. 

"To say he left a legacy would be an understatement, and his positive impact will continue to be felt," she continued. "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."

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For more information about mental health care resources and support, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email

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