Featured in Billboard ‘s “Urban Power List” in 2012, for the last three years Cara Lewis has been selected to Billboard’s “Women in Music”
Anchored by humble beginnings as a receptionist, agent Cara Lewis has made herself an industry legend. Rising quickly through the ranks from the switchboard to the board room, Cara paved the way for previously unnoticed genres to take the world by storm. Frequenting dark clubs and befriending DJs, she focused her energy on validating the art of dance music artists and getting such acts paid for touring. With the help of longtime friend and champion, Russell Simmons, Cara was able to emerge in the urban music world; solidifying hard-ticketed dates for her clients and garnering the attention of corporate sponsors, linking entertainers to commercial brands. Lewis is responsible for much of the success surrounding acts like LL Cool J, Run DMC, The Beastie Boys, Curtis Blow and The Fugees. Credited as one of the first people, regardless of gender, to identify the crossover potential of urban music, Cara mentored acts as they grew from playing in clubs to selling out 12,000 seat arenas. As a result, it is no surprise that many of her clients praise her for legitimizing the hip-hop industry.
Cara’s success should not be mentioned without paying due to her unparalleled instincts and work ethic. In an interview for Variety, Cara was quoted saying “The key to success in this business is tenacity, ethics, creativity, resourcefulness and perseverance.” She prides herself on understanding the importance of maintaining realistic expectations for her clients along with developing effective strategies to grow and sustain their business in the touring industry. Her unique approach to packaging, pricing tickets and exposing artists highlights her keen ability to think outside of the box – arguably her strongest asset. One such brainchild was the Smokin’ Grooves Tour featuring the Fugees, Cypress Hill and A Tribe Called Quest. A tour that continued for 6 years and hosted the likes of Cee-Lo Green, The Black Eyed Peas, Outkast, Nas and The Roots.
The Anger Management Tour brought together the likes of Eminem, Limp Bizkit, 50Cent, Papa Roach, Ludacris and Lil Jon. This endeavor married rock and rap, and grossed upwards of $21.6 million. It was also the only hip-hop tour between 2003 and 2007 to be named one of Pollstar’s Top 20 North American tours. Soon thereafter, the Roc The Mic Tour followed Lewis’ formula joining Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, 50Cent and Snoop Dogg with corporate sponsors Reebok and Footlocker. Cara was also instrumental in the creation of the Sugar Water Festival featureing Erykah Badu, Queen Latifa and Jill Scott.
Continuing to perfect her strategy, Lewis brought together client Kanye West’s enormously successful Glow in the Dark Tour, pairing West with clients Rihanna and Lupe Fiasco. The tour grossed over $20 million, success due in large part to Cara’s collaborative vision. Shortly thereafter, Watch the Throne was born. This brainchild was the highest grossing hip-hop tour of all time and the 8th highest grossing tour of 2011, boasting over $48 million. Lewis’ assistance in routing this tour abetted in the high turnout among fans of both urban and popular music. More recently, Cara has been instrumental in organizing Kanye West’s Yeezus Tour and the upcoming Monster Tour, which will feature Eminem and Rihanna.
Honored by the Billboard Women in Music for four consecutive years, Cara has been climbing the ranks from #25 to #14. She is shouted out to in more than ten albums including “Paid in Full” by Eric B and Rakim, “They Say” by Common featuring John Legend and Kanye West, “Give a Demonstration” by Big Daddy Kane and Hoodie Allen’s “James Franco.” In 2012 Cara joined the Creative Artist Agency where she remains excited to further grow the business, which she pioneered. She is focused on maintaining her position on the cutting edge of music. While she has represented many greats including Tupac and Public Enemy, her roster is continuously evolving with recent signings such as Iggy Azalea, MAGIC!, Waka Flocka, Rita Ora and Pusha-T, amongst others.