Tributes are pouring in following the death of Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss, the celebrated dancer who was also a DJ and producer for The Ellen Degeneres Show.
Boss, who cemented his fame as a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance US in 2008, becoming a much-loved judge on the show in the years to come, was just 42 when he died. Multiple publications have since reported his death as a suicide.
The dancer’s passing comes just days after he and his wife, fellow dancer Allison Holker Boss, celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary.
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Now hundreds of fans, close friends and members of the dance community have taken to social media to express their sorrow at the loss of Boss.
Ellen Degeneres was one of the first to share her sadness.
“I’m heartbroken,” she wrote in a tweet. “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.”
Jennifer Lopez, who was a co-judge with Boss on the US dance series World of Dance, also expressed her heartbreak. The pair appeared on the 2020 series of the show, along with judges Derek Hough and Ne-Yo.”
“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,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, So You Think You Can Dance US host Cat Deeley shared a heartfelt tribute to tWitch, having worked closely with him when he entered the show as a dancer, and when he worked as a judge on the show’s panel. The pair had continued a strong friendship ever since.
“Love you much”….on camera, off camera and beyond….sending love,” she wrote. The host also shared a sweet montage of videos of her and tWitch together over the years.
Celebrated American dancer and TV judge Derek Hough also shared a tribute to his colleague and friend.
“My heart is aching for @allisonholker and their beautiful family during this time,” Hough wrote. “My mind is clinging to memories of the dear friend we have all lost. When I think of Twitch I think of Wisdom, Love, Light and Laughter.”
He continued, “He brought joy to everyone he encountered and was an inspiration to all. It’s gonna take some time to fully process this. May you rest in peace my friend. We love you.”
Hough worked closely with Boss, along with Lopez, on World of Dance.
Justin Timberlake, who knew Boss for over 20 years, expressed his shock at the news.
“It’s heartbreaking to hear that someone who brought so much joy to a room, was hurting so much behind closed doors,” he wrote.
“I’ve known Twitch for over 20 years through the dance community – he always lit everything up. You just never know what someone is really going through.”
Actress Viola Davis shared a message for tWitch also.
“THIS is heartbreaking. All of how and who we are cannot be seen. I am praying for his family and all of us who loved him,” she wrote.
Actress Kerry Washington also shared a touching tribute.
“The world lost a bright light today,” she wrote. “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.”
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Dancer and actress Jenna Dewan shared a very heartfelt message.
“I am truly at a loss for words today… Twitch was the kindest, warmest, sweetest soul I had met in this business,” she wrote.
“He lifted everyone up around him. He cared deeply about others. He was a source of inspiration to not only the dance community but the world at large.”
In a second tweet she added, “A true good soul and loved by literally everyone. My whole heart is with you Alison and your beautiful family. RIP Twitch.”
Singer Ciara shared a tribute via Instagram.
“I am so crushed to hear the news that you are no longer with us,” the Body Party singer wrote. “I’ve always known you as joy, laughter, good times, and a big smile! Heaven has gained an angel today! May you rest in paradise. Praying for your family during this difficult time.”
Along with her tribute, Ciara shared a video of her and Boss dancing while backstage at The Ellen Degeneres Show.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson shared his thoughts on Twitter.
“Man I am so sorry to hear the heartbreaking news about Twitch,” he wrote. “Great guy. Sending his family all the love, light, strength and mana. I’ve lost a lot of friends to the struggle.
“You never know what’s happening between the ears. So sorry Boss family. Stay strong. #stephenboss
American comedian Wanda Sykes also paid tribute, saying she was “heartbroken” at the loss of tWitch.
“Heartbroken and struggling to make sense of this tremendous loss. 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,” she wrote.
Actor and American TV host Mario Lopez also shared a message.
“Being on @TheEllenShow numerous times throughout the years I got to know Twitch pretty well. Such a nice & sweet guy. Always happy…You never know what’s going on in someone else’s life. Some of the “happiest” people are fighting daily battles behind closed doors. God Bless…” he wrote, sharing a clip of himself and Boss dancing live on TV.
If you or anyone you know needs immediate support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via lifeline.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.