Ellen DeGeneres is celebrating the life and light of her friend and former Ellen DeGeneres Show co-host Stephen “tWitch” Boss after his tragic death. Boss died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Tuesday, leaving behind his wife, fellow dancer Allison Holker, and three children — Weslie, 14, Maddox, 6, and Zaia, 3.
On Thursday, DeGeneres, 64, re-shared a video tribute to Boss, which first aired during the final episodes of Ellen in May 2022.
“Right now what I want to do is remember all the love and laughter I had with tWitch,” she wrote on Instagram. “He brought so much joy to my life. I know he brought joy to yours too. I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite moments with him. If you want to you can also share yours. #ILovetWitch.”
In the video, an emotional DeGeneres says, “I don’t want to say goodbye.”
The pair met when DeGeneres performed a dance routine on one of her favorite shows, So You Think You Can Dance in 2010. Boss happened to be a fan-favorite all-star on the competition series, and he became her teacher and partner for the Season 7 finale performance.
“That was my initial love for him,” the talk show host said. “We just bonded over learning to dance together.”
DeGeneres was so taken with Boss that she hired him to be Ellen’s DJ in Season 11. He eventually became her right-hand man, bringing extra joy to each episode.
“I count on him to look over at and make dumb, silly jokes,” DeGeneres says in the video. “He’s my pal, you know? He’s my sidekick because we have this connection. He makes me laugh. He really, really makes me laugh.”
After watching the tribute, a teary-eyed Boss thanked DeGeneres and the crew for giving him “a place where I could just be myself.”
“I love the family that we’ve gained,” he added.
DeGeneres concluded,“You’re a fake DJ, but you’re a real good man.”
DeGeneres shared her heartbreak over Boss’ death on Wednesday, posting a photo of the pair hugging and writing, “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. Please send your love and support to Allison and his beautiful children – Weslie, Maddox, and Zaia.”
Ellen producer Andy Lassner also posted a simple note to Boss, which read, “Rest, my friend.”
Boss was 40 years old.