MADRID — Colombian singers Shakira and Carlos Vives on Monday rejected allegations made by a Cuban-born singer and producer that they had plagiarized his work in their award-winning music hit "La Bicicleta".
A judge in Madrid accepted a lawsuit by the label representing Livan Rafael Castellanos, also known as Livam, who says that "La Bicicleta" contains lyrics, rhythm and melody similar to those of his 1997 song, "Yo te quiero tanto."
"Neither Carlos Vives nor Shakira have received any copy of a lawsuit pertaining to 'La Bicicleta,' and as such abstain from commenting on this matter," said 42West, the public relations firm representing Shakira, in a statement emailed to The Associated Press on Monday.
However, the statement continued: "'La Bicicleta' is a completely original work and they adamantly reject any allegation to the contrary."
It could take days for a court to inform the parties in a lawsuit but once notified, the legal teams will have 20 days to submit evidence of their position, said the Madrid-based law firm representing Livam.
Payments for the rights of the hit have been temporarily halted.
"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 and is a finalist in several categories of the Billboard Awards.
Aritz Parra, The Associated Press