Shakira Appears In Madrid Court To Contest Plagiarism Claims About Her Hit ‘La Bicicleta’

The singer is dealing with a few legal issues, including plagiarism and tax fraud.

Shakira attends court for plagiarizing the song 'La Bicicleta' on March 27, 2019 in Madrid, Spain.
Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images

The singer is dealing with a few legal issues, including plagiarism and tax fraud.

On Wednesday, Shakira was in Madrid for a court appearance. The 42-year old singer was accompanied by songwriter, actor, and singer Carlos Vives, 57, while she headed into a Spanish court. Shakira’s court date has to do with Livan Rafael Castellano claiming that the singer plagiarized her hit “La Bicicleta.” The hitmaker plans to contest Castellano’s claims in court. With her collaborator on “La Bicicleta,” Vives, next to her and her brother, Tonino Mebarak, also with her, she appeared in high spirits. While reporters tried to interview Shakira while she walked into court, the singer declined to speak with the media.

Shakira was looking forward to her court appearance because she wanted to clear her name. Her collaborator on the song, Vives, also expressed that he wanted to do the same. Both Shakira and Vives claim they wanted demonstrate to the world that Castellano’s accusation stating they plagiarized “La Bicicleta” are false. Previously, both Shakira and Vives responded to Castellano’s allegations that “La Bicicleta,” which translates as “The Bicycle” in English, includes rhythm, lyrics, and melody that sound like Castellano’s 1997 song, “Yo te quiero tanto.” Back in 2016, “La Bicicleta” chalked up two out of three huge Grammy Latino awards. The Grammy Latino award categories the song won included both song of the year and record of the year.

However, Shakira’s court appearance dealing with Castellano’s plagiarism accusations aren’t the only legal drama that she is currently dealing with. Prior to her Wednesday court date, Shakira found out that she will be questioned in court because she is accused of committing a multi-million dollar tax fraud scam.

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At the end of February, Shakira was summoned to appear before a Spanish judge in Espluegues de Llobregat on June 12 so that the court could ask her questions about the tax fraud accusations against her. The singer is under investigation and suspected of six different counts of tax fraud committed against the Spanish treasury totaling about $16.5 million. The singer’s hearing will be held behind closed doors, which is not the norm for Spain, a country that opens its trial doors to the public.

In December, Spanish state prosecutors accused Shakira of tax fraud, saying she pretended to live out of the country and utilized offshore corporate entities to avoid paying all of the taxes she owed from the years 2012 to 2014. Shakira used to label herself as a tax resident in the Bahamas, and only registered in Spain as a full tax resident back in 2015. Regardless of what she claimed, people that spend more than 183 days a year in Spain are considered full tax residents, and that might be a major problem for Shakira.