(Photo credit: Twitch_boss Instagram screenshot)

Former Ellen DJ, dancer, and hype man and Stephen “tWitch” Boss has passed away at 40. The news of the passing of the big-smile and funny turntablist who first rose to fame on MTV’s The Wade Robson Project in 2003 before earning the runner-up spot on So You Think You Can Dance in 2008 quickly spread on social media. Becoming a runner up on “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2008 marked the beginning of his rise to fame and he would later return to serve as a judge for the dance competition. He then joined DeGeneres’ daytime show as guest DJ in 2014 and stayed there until the show ended earlier this year.

Boss was also a guest on BlackDoctor.org when he partnered with Novartis, manufacturer of ADAKVEO (crizanlizumab-tmca), to launch the “Do U” Dance Challenge in support of sickle cell warriors.

In an exclusive statement sent to People, his wife, Allison Holker Boss said, “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.”

Boss and Holker wed in 2013 and shared two kids: son Maddox, 6, and daughter Zaia, 3. He was also the stepfather of her daughter Weslie from a previous relationship. Us Weekly confirmed earlier on Wednesday that the former Ellen DeGeneres Show DJ died on Tuesday, December 13. He was 40 years old.

“To say he left a legacy would be an understatement, and his positive impact will continue to be felt,” Holker continued on Wednesday. “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.”

She concluded her statement with a message to her husband: “Stephen, we love you, we miss you, and I will always save the last dance for you.”

According to People.com, Boss and Holker marked their ninth wedding anniversary on Saturday, December 10 — three days before she informed police that her husband left their house without his car, according to TMZ. After Holker reported Boss’ unusual behavior to authorities, the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a call of a shooting at a hotel where Boss was found dead.

Boss took to Instagram to honor his wife for this year’s anniversary, “Happy anniversary my love @allisonholker #9years ,” he wrote.

When DeGeneres was paying tribute to tWitch on her last show, she said, “Over a decade ago, I met someone who changed my life and I’m talking about you Twitch. I used to be a huge fan of So You Think You Can Dance, and I wanted to do a dance. So, the producers of So You Think You Can Dance set me up with tWitch,” DeGeneres while paying tribute to Boss in May during one of the final episodes of the talk show. “tWitch came over to my house and he helped me try to copy it. It was like a crash course in getting to know each other. He was so patient with me. That was my initial love for him — we bonded over learning to dance together.”

While his cause of death has not yet been released, some initial reports say that Twitch committed suicide. But why? And why are more Black men and boys committing suicide?

Prior to the pandemic, suicide deaths were increasing dramatically for Black adults in the U.S. The rates have continued to increase during the pandemic.

“Over the last decade, suicide rates in the United States have increased dramatically among racial and ethnic minorities, and Black Americans in particular. Suicide deaths occur