Welcome to The Boot's News Roundup, a morning rundown of the news country music fans need to know. Read on to learn more about the latest goings-on in the country, Americana, bluegrass and folk genres.

In the aftermath of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, a new, all-women music festival will launch with the intent of "highlighting gender inequalities in the music industry." Called Zenitheve, the festival will hit six cities in the United States in 2018: Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, New York and Nashville. “Zenitheve was born out of the desire — and the need — to shine a light on the discrimination women face in the country music industry,” says musician and festival co-founder Rae Solomon. “We also want to dispel the myth that female artists’ tours and albums don’t perform as well as their male counterparts. Zenitheve is all about celebrating the female voice and our equal place in the music business.” Fans can learn more about the festival at Zenitheve.com; the full lineup is expected to be announced later this spring.

Brad Paisley Stanley Cup Final catfish
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

In May, Brad Paisley will host a benefit concert, dubbed "The 2nd Responders," that will benefit the first responders who worked the recent wildfires and mudslides in Southern California. The event, planned for May 12, will feature performances from Paisley and some as-yet-unnamed famous friends, along with an appearance by special guest Ellen DeGeneres. “Kim and I fell in love with Santa Barbara and the Montecito area on our honeymoon. It feels like small town America by the sea,” Paisley says in a statement. “With this concert, I hope to raise awareness, spirits and money for the region that’s recovering from the devastating mudslides and fires." Tickets for the concert, available to locals first, will be on sale to the public on March 24.

2016 Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival - Day 2
Christoper Polk, Getty Images for Stagecoach

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have recruited country up-and-comers Devin Dawson and Caitlyn Smith to open the 2018 leg of their Soul2Soul Tour. According to a press release, Smith will join Hill and McGraw when the tour kicks off on May 31 in Richmond, Va., and Dawson will take over as opening act when the duo hits Bossier City, La., on June 26. The trek is scheduled to run through late July.

Chris Stapleton Best Country Album 2018 Grammys
Nicholas Hunt, Getty Images for NARAS

After landing multiple albums at the top of the country charts, Chris Stapleton has finally scored a No. 1 single on country radio. According to the MediaBase charts for March 11-17, Stapleton's "Broken Halos," which appears on From A Room, Volume 1, unseated Thomas Rhett's "Marry Me" from the top spot after two weeks. Additionally, "Broken Halos" was the week's most-played and most-heard song on country radio.

Congratulations are in order for Brandi Carlile, who recently welcomed a baby boy! Carlile announced baby Elijah's birth on her Instagram account on Monday (March 19), noting that he weighed 9 pounds and was born to Carlile and her wife Catherine on March 18. "But all the wonders I have seen, I will see a second time," Carlisle writes. "I am the mother of Elijah." Carlile and Catherine already have one child, daughter Evangeline Ruth Carlile, born in 2014.

Garth Brooks
Daniel Boczarski, Getty Images

With his Sunday night (March 18) performance at RodeoHouston, Garth Brooks broke the annual event's attendance record. According to Taste of Country, Brooks' performance attracted 75,577 concertgoers, an increase of 12 from the previous Sunday's Go Tejano Day. Sunday night's show was Brooks' second appearance at this year's RodeoHouston — he opened the event up when it kicked off in late February — and featured a surprise performance from Brooks' wife and fellow country star Trisha Yearwood.

Dave Cobb working with Chris Stapleton Jason Isbell
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

On Monday, March 19, Nashville super-producer Dave Cobb was presented with the Berklee College of Music's American Master Award. The honor was given at a ceremony held at Warner Music Nashville, and presented by BerkleeNYC Executive Director Stephen Webber. “Dave Cobb is the consummate American record producer,” Webber said. “His body of work is as important as it is diverse, and his commitment to the emotional integrity of each song serves as an inspiration to us all.” Cobb joins T Bone Burnett, Gillian Welch and more as a recipient of the honor.

Spike TV's 10th Annual Guys Choice Awards - Show
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images for Spike TV

Kiefer Sutherland has announced that he will tour North America and Europe in 2018. According to a press release, Sutherland will kick off his Reckless 2018 Tour at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on April 10, then make stops in Missouri, Colorado, California, Texas, and Ontario, Canada. In June, he'll head to Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom, stopping, among other places, on June 30 at the Academy in Dublin. More dates are expected to be added to this tour in the coming weeks; tickets for select shows are on sale now at KieferSutherlandMusic.com.

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