2022 Impact 50: Cara Lewis
Founder / CEO
Cara Lewis Group
This year started out with a bang for Cara Lewis and her roster, with longtime client Eminem taking the stage at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., Feb. 13 during the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show alongside Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar, making history as the first Super Bowl halftime performance devoted to hip-hop. “I had chills, it was such an iconic performance,” Lewis says. “I also represented Dr. Dre back in the day, who put together the amazing Super Bowl show, the best ever … It was a very proud day.”
Lewis has worked with Emimen since day one and recalls booking his first club show at House Of Blues in Los Angeles. His journey to playing the biggest stadiums in the world has included the sold-out “Slim Shady LP Tour” in 1999, the “Up in Smoke Tour” with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg in 2000, “Anger Management” tours with Limp Bizkit and then 50 Cent, Ludacris and Lil Jon in the early 2000s, “Home & Home” stadium run with Jay Z in 2010, “Rapture” record-breaking tours in Australia/New Zealand in 2014 and 2019 and the “Monster” stadium run with Rihanna in 2014.
The week before this magazine went to press Eminem was announced as part of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee class for 2022. “I have always been a huge fan, love his music and representing him has surely been and is one of the greatest highlights of my career. Working with [manager] Paul Rosenberg and partnering with the late, great [X-ray Touring co-founder] Steve Strange has been a dream come true. The quality of Em’s shows always exceeds expectations as Paul and Em are both perfectionists. It is no surprise that Eminem has achieved this level of success, he is the ultimate performer and an icon in every sense of the word. He is loved, worshiped and has touched so many lives through his music.”
Lewis is busy strategizing touring plans for her roster, which also includes Travis Scott, Khalid, Don Toliver, Pusha T, BIA, Coi LeRay, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Ravyn Lenae, Sheck Wes, Pouya, J.I. and Phony Ppl. Plus, she’s working on Bryson Tiller’s first tour since 2017. Scott recently confirmed his first performances since Houston’s Astroworld festival ended in tragedy. The rapper is booked for all three of Primavera Sound’s new festivals in South America in November and Lewis says there are plans in the works for more dates.
In late April, client RUSS finally got the chance to launch a tour, which includes sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl and Red Rocks Amphitheatre, that was originally scheduled for 2020 and got pushed back several times thanks to COVID. Lewis notes, “What stands out here, a true testament of fan loyalty, is that most fans chose to hold on to their tickets for what has now been an outstanding 871 days since the initial onsale.”
Lewis’ upcoming initiatives include curating and solidifying Amber Rose’s Slut Walk Festival for Q4 2022 and curating Smokin Grooves for 2023. Smokin Grooves is a brainchild of Lewis’ with an eclectic lineup of legends, current and emerging neo soul, R&B, jazz and hip-hop artists.
“What started as a tour in 1996 is now a stand-alone festival that continues to give hip-hop and R&B music another creative platform,” Lewis says. This year’s edition – which sold out 25,000 tickets within days of the onsale – was held March 19 at Los Angeles Historical Park, featuring Erykah Badu, The Roots, Nas, Miguel, Thundercat and Jhené Aiko, among others.
Cara Lewis Group is also making its mark as part of the robust Las Vegas nightlife scene, with residencies with BIA, Pusha T, Ludacris, Coi Leray, as well as one-offs with Don Toliver and Chance the Rapper.