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Crashing the Inauguration: E! Online's Coverage From the Trenches

Yes he did...and E! Online was there, rubbing shoulders with some of Hollywood's heaviest hitters, to witness history.

Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Halle Berry and Diddy were among the 1.5 million people who came to Washington, D.C., to watch Barack Obama sworn in as the 44th president of the the United States.

Sitting in the VIP sections within 300 feet of podium on the steps of the Capitol, the A-listers watched Obama take the oath and deliver his inaugural address.

Before the ceremony got underway, we caught up with a giddy Diddy, who called the ascendance of the first black commander in chief "unreal."

"I've never felt this way in my life. I can't describe it," he said, "I won't feel like this again though."

About 100 yards behind him, Winfrey dabbed tears from her eyes as the Illinois senator she endorsed over a year ago made his own star turn.

Moments after she kicked off the ceremony with a rendition of "My Country,'Tis of Thee," Aretha Franklin told us, "It was a tremendous moment. Everything that Barack talked about, the inclusion, everything was just tremendous.

"It was absolutely [an honor to perform], but Mother Nature was not very kind to my voice. I'm going to have it out with her."

After the ceremony, we managed to sneak into the Capitol with some VIPs and found Maria Shriver in good cheer with her decidedly less happy husband, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Clearly, he's not an Obamacon.

The festivities continue tonight with a slew of official and nonofficial galas, including a star-studded affair hosted by the Creative Coalition. Stay tuned to E! Online for complete coverage.

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