In a post to Instagram Friday, DeGeneres fought back tears as she urged her followers to remember the hip hop dancer and DJ in the wake of his sudden death. The two had worked together on her daytime talk show, where Boss started as a guest DJ then worked as the show’s co-executive producer. He died by suicide at age 40 on Dec. 13.
“Everyone is in pain and trying to make sense of it, and we’ll never make sense of it,” a teary-eyed DeGeneres prefaced the video.
“The holidays are hard… but to honor tWitch I think the best thing that we can do is to laugh, hug each other, play games and dance and sing. That’s the way we honor him, is we do the things that he loved to do, which is dancing. He loved music, he loved games, so we do that.”
Boss first caught DeGeneres’ attention in 2010, when he was part of the cast of “So You Think You Can Dance” and worked with DeGeneres on a routine, a moment DeGeneres called “a crash course in getting to know each other.”
He was later invited on “Ellen” in 2013 as a guest DJ before becoming a show staple the following year. He hyped up the studio crowd with the signature dance session that started every episode of the show.
“It’s not a happy holiday, but he was pure light as everyone in the comments said. If you knew him, you knew that. If you didn’t know him, you saw that,” DeGeneres concluded her tribute, urging her followers to “check in on people” during these tough times.
“Let’s honor him and think about him and send love to one another.”
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“Oh how my heart aches. We miss you so much,” she captioned their selfie, which showed her resting her head on Boss’ shoulder, the pair sporting smiles.
As of Friday, the post had drawn more than 75,000 comments, including a heartfelt response from DeGeneres.
“There is so much love coming to you. I hope you can feel it,” the talk show host posted.
Derek Hough responded, “We love you Ally. We all have you.”
‘Thinking of you and your Family and sending my love and strength to you,” Naomi Campbell posted.
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988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988 and 988lifeline.org
BlackLine: 800-604-5841 and callblackline.com
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860 and translifeline.org
Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 800-273-8255 and press 1 to talk to someone or send a text message to 838255 to connect with a VA responder. You can also start a confidential online chat session at Veterans Crisis Chat. veteranscrisisline.net
Contributing: Elise Brisco, Erin Jensen, Natalie Neysa Alund