Fighting back tears, Ellen DeGeneres shared how she plans to honor the tWitch during the holidays.

WASHINGTON — Ellen DeGeneres fought back tears and encouraged everyone to visit their loved ones this holiday season in her first on-camera message since the death of Stephen “tWitch” Bass, her friend and longtime talk show DJ. .

tWitch died on December 13 at the age of 40. Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Report His cause of death was suicide.

“Hey everyone, I just wanted to say that the last 11 days have been very difficult for everyone, everyone is hurting and trying to figure it out. We’ll never get over it. And the holidays are hard. There are, I think, anyway.” DeGeneres said in a video posted to Twitter on Friday.

“But to honor tWitch, I think the best thing we can do is laugh and hug each other, play games and dance and sing. That’s how we honor her, do we?” They do what he loved to do, dance, he loved music, he loved sports, so we do it and I know it sounds hard, it sounds impossible but that’s how we honor him. And hug each other and tell each other we love each other. And let people know we’re there for them and check on people,” he added.

tWitch and DeGeneres first connected in 2010 when the talk show host wanted to recreate a performance from “So You Think You Can Dance.” tWitch placed as runner-up in season 4 of the dance competition and later judged season 17. Joined “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” in 2014 and was promoted to co-executive producer in 2020.

tWitch’s wife, Alison Holkar-Bass, paid her respects on Wednesday.

“My one and only oh how my heart aches. We miss you so much,” Holkar Bass tWitch said in his first online post since his death.

After tWitch’s death, filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry spoke about his suicide attempts. Perry said he tried to commit suicide a couple of times when he was in a dark place. He urged anyone going through tough times and similar experiences to reach out to someone.

If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of the day or night or online can chat

The Associated Press and WXIA contributed to this report.

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