Shakira Makes Spanish Court Appearance to Shake Off Plagiarism Case
WENN/Pat Denton

The 'Hips Don't Lie' hitmaker, along with Carlos Vives, are forced to defend themselves against Cuban musician Livam's accusation that their 'La Bicicleta' collaboration ripped his 'Yo Te Quiero Tanto' song.

AceShowbiz - Shakira and Carlos Vives appeared in a Spanish court to testify in a plagiarism case against them on Wednesday, March 27.

Cuban musician Livan Rafael Castellanos Valdes, known as Livam, filed a lawsuit in a court in Spain, where Shakira lives, in March 2017, claiming that the "Hips Don't Lie" singer and Colombian singer-songwriter lifted lyrics and a portion of the chorus' melody from his 1997 track "Yo Te Quiero Tanto", or "I Love You So Much", for their 2017 collaboration "La Bicicleta", or "The Bicycle".

The duo rejected the claims at the time, and appeared at the Mercantile Court in Madrid on Wednesday to defend themselves in the case.

Shakira didn't comment to reporters outside the courthouse, but took to the stand and noted the differences between the songs, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.

"The style is completely different," she said. "I don't know if the plaintiff was trying to do a Vallenato (Colombian music style), but it didn't turn out for him. It's like a child who wants to catch a ball but he doesn't know how. The other song is salsa. Here, and in China (everywhere), ours is a Vallenato."

The 42-year-old also told the judge, "I've never been condemned for plagiarism. In 30 years of career and since I was eight-years-old when I started to sing in my home in Colombia."

Vives had been scheduled to take to the stand on Thursday, but arrived together with Shakira to defend his reputation before the judge on Wednesday.

"I changed the history of the music of my country and I was raised among Vallenato minstrals in the streets," he said, according to El Pais. "My work is about modernizing traditional Colombian music. People call me the king of Vallenato...My music is unique, no one else does it. I invented it."

In the original complaint, Livam claimed that he had sent Vives a sample of his song, suggesting he record it, and the singer went on to use part of it without his permission for "La Bicicleta", with him alleging that Vives stole the same chords, rhythm and melody for his chorus. Livam also said he approached Sony Music about changing the chorus but they denied his request so he filed the lawsuit against Vives and Shakira, among others.

This won't be Shakira's only court appearance this year - she is scheduled to be back on 12 June to answer to charges of evading $16.4 million (£12.4 million) in taxes.

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