Jazz singer Nina Simone blamed racism in the United States for her decision to live abroad for the past 25 years.

Simone, who lives in Europe, said that as a black person she has "paid a heavy price for fighting the establishment." She did not elaborate but said racial inequality in the United States was now "worse than ever."Simone, 65, took part in the civil-rights movement of the 1960s and dedicated several songs to the cause of racial equality. She left the United States in 1973 and lived in the Caribbean and Africa before settling in Europe.

She is performing this weekend at the Baalbek International Festival in Beirut, Lebanon.