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Monica Saldivar, Jesse Villarreal pay tribute to Ernestine Romero with ‘Soy Mas Fuerte’ duet

The pair performed an emotional tribute of "Soy Mas Fuerte" to honor late singer Ernestine Romero.

Jesse Villarreal and Monica Saldivar | Courtesy photo

The latest single from Monica Saldivar is “Soy Mas Fuerte,” the title track of her new EP and a song that brings awareness to domestic violence. Saldivar and Florida-based singer and songwriter Jesse Villarreal, who composed the song, were scheduled to perform it at the All-Star Music Awards in San Antonio to pay tribute to late New Mexico singer Ernestine Romero, who was murdered by her estranged husband in July 2019. Unfortunately, the performance never happened on stage during a presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award for Romero.

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That didn’t stop Saldivar and Villarreal as the pair gave an acoustic performance of “Soy Mas Fuerte” to the Romero family later that evening.

“The main thing for me to be at the All-Star Awards was to honor Ernestine Romero,” Saldivar tells Tejano Nation. “I wanted to make sure this song was in tribute to her. I was asked to sing this song when she was receiving her Lifetime Achievement Award. However, certain circumstances happened and we wanted to make sure we still were going to be pay tribute.”

The duet performance was caught on video with Saldivar and Villarreal playing guitar at a private residence. The video, with an introduction by Tejano DJ “Karaoke Joe” Casas, features an emotional tribute for the Romero family.

“We wanted to make sure to sing it to her family in honor of her,” added Saldivar. “That moment right there is something that is going to live with me, as well with Jesse, forever.”

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Romero celebrated her 20th year in the music industry with the release of the album Mi Tesoro in March 2019. It was the 10th album released by the award-winning singer. She was a multiple New Mexico Hispano Music Awards winner and a nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year at the Tejano Music Awards in 2016.

Police confirmed Romero died as a victim of a murder-suicide on July 11, 2019, one day after her 32nd birthday. She was shot twice by her estranged husband, who then turned the gun on himself.

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