Popular Colombia singers Shakira and Carlos Vives appeared at a Madrid court on Wednesday for the charge against them, the duo are accused of plagiarising part of their Grammy award-winning hit “La Bicicleta”.
Music publisher MDRB filed a complaint in 2017 in a commercial court in Madrid on behalf of Livan Rafael Castellanos, a Cuban singer known as Livam who alleges that the catchy tune copies parts of the melody and lyrics from his own song called “Yo te quiero tanto” (I love you so much).
Shakira told the court when she was asked about Livram’s song, “I had never heard it in my life.”
Vives, 57, who composed “Yo te quiero tanto” with music producer Andres Castro, also said he did not know the song or Livam.
“La Bicicleta” — which means “The Bicycle” in English — won two of the three biggest Grammy Latino awards for 2016, including song and record of the year.
In the song Shakira and Vives sing “que te sueno y que te quiero tanto” (I dream of you and love you so much), while Livam says “yo te quiero, yo te quiero tanto” (I love you, I love you so much).
“There is nothing similar about it, not the harmony, not the theme,” said Shakira, who hummed several fragments of her song during her court appearance.
She said “Yo te quiero tanto” is a folk song which pays tribute to Colombia while Livam’s is a “Dominican salsa” which “tries to be a folk song” but is “a mess”.
Livam, who works in Madrid as a composer and producer, told the court that Castro had access to his song through his representative. His complaint is also against Castro and Sony music.
Livam said; “Its like they are touching one of my children…they are stealing from me.”
Shakira is one of the biggest stars from Latin America, scoring major global hits with songs such as “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Whenever, Wherever”.
She has sold more than 60 million records.