T.I. has been publicly praised for helping a suicidal man realise how much his family would suffer had the rapper not talked him down from the roof of an Atlanta, Georgia building last week (13Oct10).
The Live Your Life star, real name Clifford Harris, Jr., was running errands in his native Atlanta when he heard about the stand-off between cops and desperate local Joshua Starks on the radio.
He drove to the site of a 22-storey building, where the 24 year old was threatening to leap to his death, to see if he could help. Police persuaded Starks to step away from the roof's edge after showing him a heartfelt video of T.I. pleading with him not to end his life.
Starks, who was briefly hospitalised after the incident, reunited with his hip-hop hero on Monday (18Oct10) to discuss the turn of events on an Atlanta radio station, and he admitted the rapper's plea had made him reevaluate his life.
He said, "Knowing you have a strong support group of people who really do care about you, which I now know more than ever, and to just not only not let them down, but not let myself down either anymore... After I got off the ledge and everything, that's kind of how I felt myself: 'Man, I was really about to let myself down and let everything go'."
And T.I. is grateful to have helped Starks overcome his troubles: "All of the things we go through in life, they just prepare us for the next battle. I think you were able to make it through this with, I guess, minimal injury, maximum lesson learned."
The radio interview occurred three days after T.I. was ordered to serve another 11 months in prison for violating his probation. He was handed the punishment on Friday (15Oct10) and must turn himself into authorities by 1 November (10).
The singer was discovered dead on Thursday morning.
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