Justin Timberlake Pays Tribute To His Longtime Friend Stephen 'tWitch' Boss As New Details Emerge

The entertainment world is in a state of shock following the tragic death of dancer and DJ Stephen “tWitch” Boss. The celebrity was found in a motel on December 13, and reportedly died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 40. Many took to social media to pay tribute to Boss, including a number of people he’d become close to through the dance community. That’s how pop star Justin Timberlake first came to know Boss over 20 years ago, and as details continue to come out about what happened, the former boy-bander shared his own thoughts on his longtime friend’s passing.

Justin Timberlake echoed the thoughts of many when recalling the energetic dancer — who was often seen on social media, doing dance routines with his wife, Allison Holker Boss, their children and friends — saying that you just never know what’s going on in someone’s head. He tweeted

It’s heartbreaking to hear that someone who brought so much joy to a room, was hurting so much behind closed doors. 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.

Stephen Boss will likely be remembered for his big smile and the positive energy he seemed to bring into every room. The entertainer got his start in the business as a contestant on Season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance, later serving as a judge in Season 17. He was also featured in a few of the Step Up sequels and paired up with Channing Tatum in Magic Mike XXL. However, many knew tWitch as the beloved DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which he joined in 2014, sharing some emotional thoughts as the talk show came to an end. 

Justin Timberlake penned a separate message to tWitch’s wife and three children — Weslie, 14, Maddox, 6, and Zaia, 3 — as well as all of his fans, urging them to love themselves, tweeting:

Take care of yourselves. LOVE that human in the mirror. Check on your people. Sending light to his beautiful family in this dark, confusing time. You will be missed, Sir. Rest Easy. 🙏🏻

Details continue to come to light surrounding the discovery of Stephen Boss’ body in a motel room on December 13. ET reported that Boss checked into the Oak Tree Inn in Encino, California, on December 12. Housekeeping “repeatedly” knocked on the door of his room when he didn’t check out the next morning, and eventually called management to open the door, and that was when his body was found.

Officers determined the gunshot wound to be “self-inflicted,” saying there were no signs of foul play, and the case was handed over to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

Earlier, Allison Holker Boss had reported her husband missing, with TMZ saying that she insisted it was uncharacteristic of him to disappear like that. She said there was no argument or issue; he just left the house and wouldn’t answer her calls. Law enforcement apparently went back to the family’s home — which was less than a mile from the Oak Tree Inn — to check the property for any clues as to his whereabouts, and shortly after the call came in from the motel.

This is undoubtedly a devastating time for tWitch’s friends and family. Our thoughts continue to go out to Allison Holker Boss and her three children, as well as everyone else affected by tWitch’s tragic passing. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, you can find resources on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website, or by calling the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 800-273-8255, or dialing 988. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.