Colombian pop star Shakira has reached a settlement with prosecutors to avoid a trial in Barcelona over charges she failed to pay $A24 million in Spanish income tax between 2012 and 2014.
As part of the deal, she accepted the charges and a fine of 50 per cent of the amount owed, more than 7.3 million euros ($A12.2 million).
She also accepted another fine of 438,000 euros ($A734,000) to avoid a three-year prison sentence, the judge said during the trial's first hearing.
"This decision to reach a deal responds to personal, emotional and sentimental reasons that have nothing to do with legal (reasons)," Shakira said in a statement released by her Spanish communication agency, adding she was ready to defend her innocence but decided to prioritise her career and kids.
"I have reached the conclusion that winning is not a victory if the price is that they rob you of so many years of your life."
Wearing a pink suit, matched with a pink handbag and sunglasses, Shakira arrived at court minutes before proceedings began accompanied by her lawyers, amid a media frenzy.
"Do you recognise the facts and conform with the new penalties that have been requested?" Judge Jose Manuel del Amo Sanchez asked at the start of the trial.
"Yes," Shakira responded.
On Thursday night, Shakira won two Latin Grammy awards in Seville.
Previously, the Hips Don't Lie singer, who also has a second tax fraud investigation pending with Spanish authorities, had vowed to fight what she called false accusations.
The prosecutor's office was seeking an up to eight-year prison term and to claim back the taxes it says she owes.
It alleged that Shakira spent more than half of each of the years in question in Spain and was therefore ordinarily resident in the country.
It also said that a Barcelona property she bought in May 2012 served as a family home.
"It is logically a ruling of conformity that involves a recognition of the facts but the decision has been motivated by personal issues," Miriam Company, one of Shakira's lawyers, told reporters outside the courthouse.
She said the legal team was convinced it could prove Shakira's innocence but that the circumstances had changed.
Shakira, 46, lived with former Barcelona and Spain soccer star Gerard Pique for 11 years and the couple has two children.
The singer, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, moved to Miami after their separation.
Spanish authorities have pursued other major celebrities over tax evasion including soccer players such as Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazilian-Spanish player Diego Costa.
All settled and paid large fines.
Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso refused to settle and eventually won a trial against the tax agency.
Spain's Supreme Court last month upheld his acquittal.
Australian Associated Press