Putin grants Depardieu Russian citizenship

Gerard Depardieu, the French actor who has been sparring with his native country over taxes, has been granted Russian citizenship.

A brief announcement on the Kremlin website said President Vladimir Putin signed the citizenship grant Thursday.

Depardieu is angered by French President Francois Hollande’s attempt to raise taxes on the mega-rich to 75 percent.

Russia has a flat income tax of 13 percent.

A representative for Depardieu declined to say whether he had accepted the offer and refused all comment.

Michelle Williams joining tour of ‘Fela!’

Former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams is joining the latest national tour of the musical “Fela!”

Producers said Thursday the singer, who starred on the UPN sitcom “Half & Half,” will be onstage when the tour opens at Sidney Harman Hall in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 29.

“Fela!”, a biography of Nigerian musician and political activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti, will then play 16 cities, including Miami, Atlanta and Nashville, Tenn.

Williams, part of Destiny’s Child along with Kelly Rowland and Beyonce, is now a solo artist who has released the dance album “Unexpected” and the recent singles “On The Run” and “Waiting On You.” Jay-Z, Beyonce’s husband, is one of the producers of “Fela!” which won three Tony Awards in 2010.

Rare Stephen King book up for auction

A signed copy of a rare Stephen King book is up for auction at a Maine bookstore, with proceeds going to a nearby homeless shelter’s emergency home-heating fund.

The copy of “The Regulators,” written by horror writer and Maine native King under the pen name Richard Bachman, was donated by a customer of Scottie’s Bookhouse in Hancock.

Owner Michael Riggs said there are only 550 copies in a special collector’s box.

Auction proceeds will go to the Emmaus Homeless Shelter’s emergency fuel fund in Ellsworth, Maine.

Wire reports