Chronology of the Feud between Ahmad Dhani Ban Once Carrying Dewa’s Song 19

Jakarta, CNN Indonesia —

Ahmad Dhani and Once are now clearly in a feud after the Dewa 19 frontman publicly banned his former vocalist from singing the legendary band’s song.

Traces of the dispute between former colleagues at Dewa 19 began to be seen when they prepared for the Dewa 19 30th Anniversary Concert which was held at the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS) on 4 February 2023.



In a video uploaded by the AHMAD DHANI BERITA BERITA account on YouTube on February 2, 2023, Dhani and Once were involved in a debate regarding the selection of songs to be performed in the concert.

“If we take it all out, what will On be watching next year?” Ahmad Dhani said.

“Oh, isn’t this in a big field?” answered Once.

“Well, next year the field will be big too! Next year on the big field too, we have to save money,” said Dhani.

“You know a lot of songs,” replied Once.

“That’s why don’t play them all,” said Dhani.

“This has never been played,” replied Once.

“There’s still next year, is it only 2023 for our careers?” asked Dani.


However, this pre-concert rehearsal moment apparently was not the last time Dhani and Once’s disputes. A number of comments also indicate that there is tension between the two.

This was captured in the Mata Najwa documentary video about the Dewa 19 concert which aired on February 12, 2023.

“H-1 there is a singer who is a bit fussy, namely Once Mekel,” Dhani told Najwa during the rehearsal.

“I told him to sing the song I Want to Break Free, he didn’t want to. He said this was a God concert, God’s song,” he continued.


After the concert, on February 22, there was a lot of news circulating that Once Mekel refused to pay royalties for the Dewa 19 song when he sang it not at the band’s event.

However, Once explained that the matter was being discussed with Ahmad Dhani. The discussion was said to be aimed at finding a midpoint so that the song Dewa 19 could be performed by Once.

Once also alluded to the role of the National Collective Management Institute (LMKN) as the body that should regulate the royalty system or profit sharing system.

“That is not the realm of Once, that is the realm of the EO (Event Organizer). Once does not have the authority to pay royalties, the EO has to pay,” said Ahmad Dhani in response to Once’s statement.

“(Not prohibiting) if the EO has dealt with me and WAMI,” he said.

“WAMI has agreed with me, that the EO who will invite artists (to) sing Ahmad Dhani’s song must have written permission from WAMI,” he continued. “Of course after I agree to the deal.”

(Gambas:Video CNN)

Until early March 2023, Ahmad Dhani publicly stated that he had not invited Once Mekel to perform with Dewa 19 in Bandung.

“No (Once). What’s the reason? The reason is expensive. That’s it,” answered Ahmad Dhani when met in the Pancoran area, South Jakarta, Wednesday (1/3).

Ahmad Dhani’s remarks came after many fans judged that Once was the “personnel” Ahmad Dhani meant in the video DEWA19 & JIS THE UNTOLD STORY PART 2.

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Rumors of Expensive Paid Until Once Open Voice


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