MADRID, Spain – A Spanish court said Thursday, May 16, it had cleared Colombian superstars Shakira and Carlos Vives of accusations they plagiarized part of their Grammy award-winning hit "La Bicicleta".
Livan Rafael Castellanos, a Cuban singer known as Livam, had alleged that the catchy tune copied parts of the melody and lyrics from his own song called "Yo te quiero tanto" (I love you so much).
"There is no plagiarism whatsoever as claimed by the plaintiff in this lawsuit," the commercial court said in its ruling.
Music publisher MDRB had filed a complaint in 2017 in the Madrid court on behalf of Livam.
In March, Shakira, 42, who lives in Barcelona, told the court she had "never heard" Livam's song before.
Vives, 57, also said he did not know the song or Livam.
"La Bicicleta" – or "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).
But the court ruled that the expression was "common, used in all sorts of songs and lyrics, all through history"
It added that the melody, rhythm and harmony were different in both songs.
Shakira, who lives with FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique and their two sons, is due to appear in court again in June for allegedly evading taxes of 14.5 million euros ($16.3 million), a charge her lawyers deny.
With her mix of Latin, Arab and rock influences, Shakira is one of the biggest stars from South America, scoring major global hits with songs such as "Hips Don't Lie" and "Whenever, Wherever".
She has sold more than 60 million records. – Rappler.com