December 2, 2023
Ernestine Romero

Remembering Ernestine Romero

July 11, 2020 will be the one year anniversary of the death of one of our beloved legendary New Mexico music artists, Ernestine Romero. Here is an interview with her parents, Olivia and Willie Romero and a photo gallery of some of their favorite photos of her throughout her life.

This is Ernestine Romero’s story as told by her parents, Olivia and Willie Romero as we remember her and celebrate her life this month, one year after her passing.

Ernestine Romero was born into a musical family and her passion for music blossomed at a young age when she watched her father’s band perform. She began performing at around three years old when she would perform skits, sing, and dance for family members. Her older sister Jennifer was often a willing participant in these performances which developed her love for performing for an audience. Ernestine loved to get her audience members involved in her performance regardless of the size which developed her desire to continue to use her talents for singing, dancing, and writing to entertain on a much larger stage. She began her professional career when she was eight years old and released her first album when she was ten. She began performing and gaining a loyal following while becoming known as “La Jovencita“. As her career progressed, her understanding of rhythms, writing, and producing music grew which lead to her creating her own unique sound that combined different styles of music. Ernestine released a total of ten albums throughout her musical career working with a wide range of talented musicians from around the world. Ernestine gained an international fan base which were very dear to her and she enjoyed interacting with her fans everywhere she performed or appeared. Ernestine won many awards throughout the course of her illustrious career for singing, writing, and producing her music that incorporated elements of many diverse musical styles which created her own unique sound. Ernestine has won over 30 awards for writing, singing, and producing her music and has posthumously received lifetime achievement awards and been elected to several music hall of fames.  

Ernestine’s Inspiration

Ernestine was inspired at a young age by her father Willie by watching him practice and perform music. As she grew older, she was truly moved by Selena who was her idol and someone that she looked to for inspiration and motivation to pursue her singing career. Ernestine was very motivated and determined to create music that she loved and share her talents with her ever growing fanbase.

Ernestine’s Last Recording

Ernestine’s last recording was titled “Mi Tesoro” which contained thirteen tracks including a duet with Shelly Lares. Ernestine would record her albums very quickly where her talents and natural abilities shined through. She would complete the recording of several songs in a matter of hours and would often complete an entire album during her time in San Antonio during Tejano Fan Fare. In addition to recording in Texas, Ernestine also completed recordings in studio in New Mexico where many famous bands had recorded.

Olivia and Willie Romero share a favorite Ernestine story.

When Ernestine was young, around three years old, she would love to entertain everyone who would come to visit with her many amazing performances. She would always dress up and have her sister comb her hair and apply her makeup before she would perform. There was a yellow tutu that she loved to perform in and she would choreograph all her performances. She would ask her dad Willie to set up the speakers and music to sing and dance for anyone that would come by. Ernestine was truly was a natural performer since she was a child.

Ernestine would also go out into the crowd wherever she performed to sing and dance and the children in the crowd would follow her around eventually joining her on stage to sing and dance along with her on stage.

Plans of Remembrance for her 1-year anniversary

Due to COVID-19, it has become difficult to plan anything substantial, however family and close friends will gather to release balloons on her birthday in several locations.  In addition, her work group were planning a celebration of her life at her memorial, but for now this has been postponed until a later date.  Several masses have been planned in Pojoaque and Las Vegas, NM after which we will spend time at her resting place and release balloons in her honor.

Keeping Ernestine Romero’s Memory Alive

We have continued to sell her merchandise including her entire musical catalog and apparel through her website at where all the proceeds go to the Ernestine Romero Foundation In addition, her music remains in rotation at radio stations nationwide and is among the most requested each week.

Several memorials were planned this summer but had to be rescheduled due to COVID-19 which included Fan Fair in San Antonio, TX in March which is now rescheduled for 2021. In addition, the city of Tucumcari, NM had invited Willie and Olivia to be Gran Marshalls at their yearly fiestas but this has also been rescheduled for 2021. Santa Fe Bandstand had also scheduled a memorial for Ernestine because she would perform nearly every year but this will also take place at another time.

Ernestine is scheduled to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 Tejano All Stars Music Awards in San Antonio, TX.

NM Universo remembers and celebrates the life of New Mexico legendary music superstar, Ernestine Romero through these beautiful photos that were shared by her parents, Willie and Olivia Romero.

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