A pimp once threatened to kill soul singer Bettye Lavette after she vowed to leave her life of prostitution behind.

The My Man - He's a Lovin' Man hitmaker opted to have sex in exchange for money in her younger years to make ends meet, but one day she decided to give it all up and focus on her music career.

However, her agent, only identified by LaVette as J, wasn't too happy and he dangled her over the edge of a 20-story building in New York in a bid to assert his power and convince the Grammy nominee to change her mind.

Recalling the horrifying incident to CNN.com, she said, "I don't really know whether he would have let me go (dropped me). He had been in prison a very long time before that. I don't think that he would want to go back for any reason. I'm sure that someone would have noticed when I hit the sidewalk (and called the cops).

"That day, I was going to leave one way or another - either he was going to drop me or, if he let me go, I was going to leave. But I wasn't going to be there anymore."