Spain Charges Shakira with Tax Evasion for Second Time, Demands More Than $7 Million 

Shakira attends the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, US, September 12, 2023. (Reuters)
Shakira attends the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, US, September 12, 2023. (Reuters)
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Spain Charges Shakira with Tax Evasion for Second Time, Demands More Than $7 Million 

Shakira attends the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, US, September 12, 2023. (Reuters)
Shakira attends the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, US, September 12, 2023. (Reuters)

Spanish prosecutors have charged pop star Shakira with failing to pay 6.7 million euros ($7.1 million) in tax on her 2018 income, authorities said Tuesday, in Spain’s latest fiscal allegations against the Colombian singer.

Shakira is alleged to have used an offshore company based in a tax haven to avoid paying the tax, Barcelona prosecutors said in a statement.

She has been notified of the charges in Miami, where she lives, according to the statement.

Shakira is already due to be tried in Barcelona on Nov. 20 in a separate case that hinges on where she lived between 2012-14. In that case, prosecutors allege she failed to pay 14.5 million euros ($15.4 million) in tax.

Prosecutors in Barcelona have alleged the Grammy winner spent more than half of the 2012-14 period in Spain and therefore should have paid taxes in the country, even though her official residence was in the Bahamas.

Spanish tax officials opened the latest case against Shakira last July. After reviewing the evidence gathered over the last two months, prosecutors have decided to bring charges. No date for a trial was set.

The public relations firm that previously has handled Shakira’s affairs, Llorente y Cuenca, made no immediate comment.

Last July, it said the artist had “always acted in concordance with the law and on the advice of her financial advisers.”

Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has been linked to Spain since she started dating the now-retired soccer player Gerard Pique. The couple, who have two children, lived together in Barcelona until last year, when they ended their 11-year relationship.

Spain tax authorities have over the past decade or so cracked down on soccer stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for not paying their full due in taxes. Those players were found guilty of tax evasion but avoided prison time thanks to a provision that allows a judge to waive sentences under two years in length for first-time offenders.



Global Music Streams are Up in 2024

FILE - Bad Bunny performs during “The Most Wanted Tour” at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on May 15, 2024. (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - Bad Bunny performs during “The Most Wanted Tour” at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on May 15, 2024. (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Invision/AP, File)
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Global Music Streams are Up in 2024

FILE - Bad Bunny performs during “The Most Wanted Tour” at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on May 15, 2024. (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - Bad Bunny performs during “The Most Wanted Tour” at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on May 15, 2024. (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Invision/AP, File)

Halfway through the year, a few music trends have become apparent: Global music streams are up, Latin music has become the fastest growing streaming genre in the United States, and physical album variants — multiple releases of the same — are on the rise.

Going Global The global music industry surpassed 1 trillion streams at the fastest pace, ever, in a calendar year, Luminate’s 2024 Midyear Report has found. The number was reached 10 days faster than in 2023, according to The AP.

Global streams also increased 15.1% with 2.29 trillion on-demand audio streams, up from 1.99 trillion at this point last year.

The continued Latin music boom People everywhere are streaming more music, and in the US, Latin music has become the fastest growing streaming genre, up 15.1% from this time last year. Latin music streaming also leans the most current — 35% of all Latin streams in the US are for albums released in the last 18 months. Compare that to rock music, where 70.5% of streams in the US are from deep catalogs — releases that are 5 years old, or older.

There are no Latin artists featured in the top 10 albums or songs of the year to date, but Bad Bunny, Peso Pluma, Fuera Regida, Karol G, Rauw Alejandro, Aventura, Carín León are among the top 200 most streamed artists in the US for the first half of 2024.

Last year, Latin music was among the top three fastest growing genres in the US, says Jaime Marconette, Luminate’s vice president of music insights and industry relations. The 2024 figures illustrate a continuation in that trend.

“A huge part of that growth was driven by the continued rise of regional Mexican music, which is the largest Latin music subgenre so far this year with more than 13 billion US on-demand audio streams,” Marconette told The AP.

And while the Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny remains “the biggest-streaming Latin music artist in the US,” he says the three other Latin artists who crossed over 100 million US. on-demand audio streams throughout the first half of 2024 are regional Mexican acts: Pluma, Fuerza Regida and Junior H.

Physical albums aren't going anywhere It's not just the streaming economy on the rise.

Physical variants of albums — multiple releases of the same album, sometimes containing different bonus tracks or featuring a different design — have steadily grown in popularity since 2020.

In 2024, physical album sales increased 3.8% in the US over this time last year, climbing to 24.7 million from 23.8 million, the data and analytics company found in its report.

But it’s not just any artist creating more physical variants of their releases. The artists who’ve had the top 10 bestselling albums so far this year have also had the highest average number of variants. That includes Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and Beyoncé, as well as K-pop acts like Tomorrow x Together, Ateez and TWICE.

In 2024, the average number of variants for a top 10 bestselling album is 22: seven different vinyl releases, 13 CDs and two cassettes.

For albums in the top 101 - 500 rankings, there's only about five variants per release, and for 501 - 1,000, there's an average of four physical variants.

“We have seen a consistent trend in recent years where albums at the top of the charts employed more and more physical variants in their album release campaigns," says Marconette.

However, “there has also been criticism within the artist and fan communities regarding the environmental impacts of producing so many physical products,” he says, suggesting there is "a clear demand for recycled materials and other sustainability initiatives in this space.”