Stephen “tWitch” Boss, famed as the multi-talented DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, has died at the age of 40.
The Independent reports his wife Allison Holker confirmed his passing in a statement Wednesday, writing: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to share my husband Stephen has left us. 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.”
Holker 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 honour his memory. We ask for privacy during this difficult time for myself and especially for our three children. Stephen, we love you, we miss you, and I will always save the last dance for you.”
The couple celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary just days ago.
According to TMZ, the outlet that first broke the news, Holker “frantically” visited Los Angeles Police Department on Tuesday to report Boss had uncharacteristically left home without his car.
The publication reports the police department later responded to a call about a shooting at an LA hotel, where they found Boss dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.
Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Boss earned his nickname as a child when he couldn’t sit still, CNN reports.
He graduated from Lee High School in Montgomery in 2000 and went on to study Dance Performance at Southern Union State Community College and Chapman University.
His love of dancing permeated through all aspects of his life as he aspired to emulate greats like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.
“My personal opinion: The greatest of all time had to be Gene Kelly, man. Gene Kelly, because he’s a guy’s guy. I love Fred Astaire, but Fred Astaire was so smooth, and it was great. He was so classy,” Boss said in an interview with the Associated Press in 2014. “But Gene Kelly — he could be like somebody’s dad, who just decided to get up off the couch and dance around and clean the kitchen up.”
The dancer-DJ also appeared in films like Step Up: All In and Magic Mike XXL as well as on television.
Six years ago he spoke with author and former football player Lewis Howes for the latter’s podcast and expanded on his background, including being raised by a single mother and how his relationship with his absentee father helped shape him.
“I have always been that type ‘Don’t tell me what I won’t do,’” Boss said. “I remember talking to [his father] outside of his work in the parking lot and telling him ‘Hey, I’m joining the dance team. I’m going to need some shows and some money to get supplies’ and he went on this tangent…I was like ‘Oh, that means I’m really supposed to do this then.’”
Elle DeGeneres brought him on as the DJ of her popular daytime talk show in 2014, a job he held until the show went off the air this year. Boss was also a coexecutive producer of the show.
Boss and his wife were the parents of three children. Boss’ final Instagram post on Monday showed him and Holker Boss dancing in front of a Christmas tree.
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