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By United Press International   |   Jan. 24, 2013 at 7:03 AM

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

BEYONCE: The White House said Wednesday it would not "deal with" the question of whether Beyonce lip-synched at the presidential inaugural in Washington Monday.

After Beyonce's performance of "The Star Spangled Banner," speculation mounted she was lip-synching, rather than singing live, because it was so cold in the nation's capitol.

During Wednesday's briefing with reporters, White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked whether President Barack Obama knew Beyonce was lip-synching, and whether the president cared.

"I have not had the discussion with him," Carney said.

He said all he knows is what he's read, and "shockingly, it has not all been consistent."

"I'm glad you guys are focused on the important issues of the day here," Carney said.

"You know, I just, you know, as powerful as this office is, we don't control the weather and -- and as -- as many issues as we deal with here, we still have to choose what we don't deal with, and this is one of those issues."

Capt. Eric Flanagan, a spokesman for the Marine Band, told The Washington Post its members mimed playing their instruments on the National Anthem while the audience in Washington and on television heard a taped performance, because the band had not had an opportunity to rehearse with Beyonce.

Aretha Franklin, who sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee" live at Obama's 2009 inauguration, told ABC News she laughed when she heard Beyonce's performance had been pre-recorded.

"I thought it was really funny, but she did a beautiful job with the pre-record ... Next time I'll probably do the same," Franklin said.


JOSH DUHAMEL: Actor Josh Duhamel is to serve as host of the Kids' Choice Awards show at USC's Galen Center in Los Angeles, Nickelodeon said.

The presentation, scheduled for March 23, will honor films, music, sports and television shows chosen in a vote by fans.

Duhamel is the star of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," "New Year's Eve" and "Safe Haven." He is married to pop star Fergie.

"Josh has come out to play before for Kids' Choice and as a previous 'best arm fart' winner we know he'll do what it takes to be a great host," Marjorie Cohn, president of content development for Nickelodeon and executive producer of the Kids' Choice Awards, said in a statement. "We promise that this year will deliver the special, one-of-a-kind surprise-filled slime-fest for which our annual telecast is famous."

"Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards is a great event that celebrates kids by honoring their opinions and taps into the kid in all of us," said Duhamel. "I have a lot of secret plans for when I host the awards, but I can tell you I'm excited to lead millions of kids into total crazy fun, chaos ... and, of course, endless slime."


DAVID TENNANT: Scottish actor David Tennant is to play the title character in William Shakespeare's history play "Richard II," England's Royal Shakespeare Company announced.

The former "Doctor Who" star earned critical acclaim when he appeared in the RSC production of "Hamlet."

"Richard II" will begin performances next fall as part of the company's first season under artistic director Gregory Doran, who replaced Michael Boyd last year, the BBC reported.

The production will run in Stratford-Upon-Avon's Royal Shakespeare Theatre in October and November, then transfer to the Barbican Theatre in London in December, the report said.


JACK WAGNER: U.S. actor Jack Wagner is to return to "General Hospital" after a nearly 20-year absence, TVGuide.com reported.

Wagner played hunky cop-turned-spy Frisco Jones in the 1980s and '90s, but hasn't appeared on the soap since 1995.

TVGuide.com said he is among the many daytime-drama icons returning to "GH" this year for the ABC show's 50th anniversary.

No details about his plot line or when he will show up in fictional Port Charles were reported.

Since leaving "GH," Wagner has starred in "The Bold and the Beautiful," "Melrose Place," "Sunset Beach" and "Santa Barbara," and competed on "Dancing with the Stars."

Sean Kanan, Finola Hughes, Robin Mattson, Ian Buchanan, Tristan Rogers and Lynn Herring have all recently returned to "General Hospital," while Genie Francis and Kin Shriner are expected back next month.

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