Spanish prosecutors charge pop star Shakira with tax evasion

Music star Shakira is the latest high-profile individual targeted by Spanish prosecutors for tax evasion. Officials allege she failed to pay €14.5 million ($16.3 million) in taxes.

Hips don't lie, but Spanish tax officials want to find out if Shakira's account might have.

Spanish prosecutors on Friday charged music star Shakira with tax evasion.

The prosecutors allege the Colombian-born musician listed her official residence in the tax haven of the Bahamas between 2012 and 2014, during which time she lived in Spain with her partner, Spanish soccer player Gerard Pique.

Prosecutors said that although she traveled around the world for professional engagements, she lived most of the period in question in Spain.

In all, she failed to pay €14.5 million ($16.3 million) in taxes on her worldwide income, prosecutors said.

Representatives of Shakira said in a statement that the singer did not live in Spain until 2015 and that she has met all of her Spanish tax obligations.

Shakira keeps shaking at 40

Colombia's superstar

Born in Barranguilla, Colombia on February 2, 1977, the youngest of eight kids, Shakira is one of the bestselling Latin artists of all time. She released her first album at 14, but her breakthrough came in 1996 with her third disc, "Pies Diescalzos" (Barefoot), establishing her mix of Latin, rock and Arab styles. In 1997 she moved to Miami to find fame in the US, helped by producer Emilio Estefan.

Shakira keeps shaking at 40

A link between North and South America

Shakira won her first Grammy Award for best Latin pop album in 2000 before she released her first English-language album, "Laundry Service," in 2001 after just a few years in the US. The album shot to number three in the charts. She claimed her second Grammy, for best Latin rock/alternative album, in 2006 and picked up an MTV Latin America Award for best song ("Hips Don't Lie") the same year.

Shakira keeps shaking at 40

The whole package

"Hips Don't Lie" from the 2006 Grammy-winning "Oral Fixation" album became one of Shakira's biggest hits. Standing just 157 cm tall (5'1"), Shakira draws on her Colombian, Spanish, Italian and Lebanese roots in her dancing, as well as her musical style. In 2009, she released the album/single "She Wolf," which got her an MTV Europe Music Award nomination. She's pictured here at that ceremony.

Shakira keeps shaking at 40

Shakira's soccer spotlight

Think back to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and two words will come to mind: "Waka Waka." Shakira's single became the tournament's theme song, a celebration of Africa that spread fun, hip-shaking vibes around the world. The video to the song has since been viewed over one billion times on YouTube. Also in 2010, Shakira released her first fragrance: S by Shakira.

Shakira keeps shaking at 40

The ex

For nearly a decade, Antonio de la Rua, son of the former Argentine president, was the man in Shakira's life. They even got enganged in 2001, but split in 2010. The breakup reportedly was quite messy, with De la Rua suing Shakira for $250 million, claiming he had managed her career and was losing out on compensation. The claims were dismissed. The couple is pictured here in Las Vegas in 2007.

Shakira keeps shaking at 40

Partner and kids

Shakira has been in a relationship with Spanish soccer player Gerard Piqué since 2010. Rumors of their relationship started percolating during the World Cup, though they didn't confirm it until February 2011. The native of Barcelona, who turns 30 the same day the singer turns 40, also plays for Barcelona. In 2013, they had their first son, Milan. Their second son, Sasha, was born two years later.

Shakira keeps shaking at 40

Among the stars

As if two Grammys and countless international prizes weren't enough, Shakira received the icing on the cake in November 2011. He name is now engraved on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. The star maintains a home in the US (Miami), but also has residences in the Bahamas, her birthtown of Barranquilla, Colombia, and Barcelona, Spain.

Shakira keeps shaking at 40

Barefoot foundation

Known for performing barefoot, Shakira named her charity the "Pies Diescalzos Foundation" - the barefoot foundation. The organization aims to help provide education to children in her native Colombia. She is pictured here in 2011 at the cornerstone laying ceremony for a school in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Something of a child prodigy herself, Shakira wrote her first song at age eight.

Shakira keeps shaking at 40

The face of 'The Voice'

NBC's popular singing competition TV show "The Voice" recruited Shakira for its jury during season four in 2013. With her quick-witted humor and ever-so-slight Colombian accent, she thrilled fans and held her own alongside fellow jury members R&B artist Usher, Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and country star Blake Shelton. Shakira took a break from season five, but returned to "The Voice" for season six.

Shakira keeps shaking at 40

Graceful as a gazelle

Shakira is pictured here during a February 2016 photo session for the animated movie "Zootopia," in which she performed the voice of the character Gazelle in both the English and Spanish versions. She also performed the song "Try Everything" in the popular film, which won a Golden Globe for best animated feature film.

Shakira keeps shaking at 40

Shakira in Davos - UNICEF Global ambassador

Shakira is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Just recently in January 2017, she visited the World Economic Forum in Davos to campaign for education. She tweeted: "With Gordon Brown discussing the next steps to secure new major financing for Education." There she was also presented with the Schwab Foundation's Crystal Award, which goes to artists who are committed to improving the world.

She was listed in the "Paradise Papers" leaks last year among numerous high-profile individuals with offshore tax arrangements.

A magistrate in Barcelona will assess whether there is sufficient evidence to go to trial.

The Colombian singer said she has "complied at all times with her tax obligations" and points to her goodwill for having paid everything the treasury believes had not been taxed before solving what she said she believes is a difference of criteria.

Several prominent stars have been charged on tax evasion in Spain in recent years, including football stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

In many cases, such stars may strike deals to avoid jail time by paying fines and settling their tax debts.

cw/sms (AP, EFE, Reuters)

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