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By United Press International   |   Dec. 4, 2012 at 4:01 AM

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The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

HOWARD STERN: Radio star Howard Stern is to return as a judge for a second season of the television competition series "America's Got Talent," NBC said.

The announcement was made Monday by Stern and Paul Telegdy, president of alternative and late-night programming for NBC Entertainment, on Stern's SiriusXM radio show.

"I'm delighted Howard is returning to the 'America's Got Talent' judging panel," producer Simon Cowell said in a statement. "I really believe he and 'AGT' will find the next great talent capable of global success."

"Howard Stern's towering presence and opinions on last season's show as a new judge made a dramatic impact and added a sharper edge to the fascinating developments on stage," said Telegdy.

Auditions for Season 8 of "America's Got Talent" are going on now. The show is to return to NBC this summer.


ERIC CLAPTON: Eric Clapton and Chris Martin have joined the lineup of artists performing at a Hurricane Sandy fundraiser in New York next week, organizers said.

Also booked to take the stage Dec. 12 at Madison Square Garden are Bon Jovi, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters, Kanye West, The Who and Paul McCartney.

Proceeds of the 12-12-12 show are to benefit the Robin Hood Relief Fund.

"We are grateful to each and every artist that has agreed to be part of this historic night -- the response has been astounding," event producers, James Dolan, John Sykes and Harvey Weinstein said in a joint statement Monday.

"We are just now starting to understand the true scope and devastating impact that Hurricane Sandy brought to the tri-state area and we hope, through this tremendous and unprecedented concert event, to provide the most assistance possible."


ROD STEWART: British rock star Rod Stewart is planning a North American concert tour next spring, alongside U.S. singer Steve Winwood, AEG Live announced.

The artists' "Live the Life" tour will kick off in Chicago April 10 and will include 10 arenas.

Stops will include New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Atlanta, Detroit and Greensboro, N.C.

Tickets for the tour go on sale Saturday.

Stewart confirmed the tour during an interview on TV's "Live! with Kelly and Michael."

"I'm thrilled to be touring with Steve Winwood.

He is truly part of rock 'n' roll's enduring tapestry," Stewart said.


SETH MacFARLANE: "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane is to lend his voice to a character on the animated American TV series, "The Simpsons," Fox announced.

MacFarlane, who is to serve as host of the Oscars in February, will appear in the 25th season premiere of "The Simpsons" next fall, the New York Daily News reported.

MacFarlane will play a married man who romances Marge Simpson online after learning they both share a passion for the "Downton Abbey-esque" show "Upton Rectory," "The Simpsons" producer Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly.

Dan Castellaneta, who does the voice of Homer Simpson, recently guest-starred on a "Family Guy" episode, the Daily News said.

Both "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" air on Fox.

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