Jennifer Lopez Starstruck by Barack Obama
01/19/2009 AT 04:00 PM EST
At the Latino Inaugural Gala in Washington, D.C. on Sunday evening, the singer-actress said even with all of Hollywood flocking to the city for the inauguration, President-elect Barack Obama was undeniably the biggest A-lister.
"He is the biggest star here, even though it's chock-full of celebrities," said Jennifer Lopez. "The night he won the election, you could feel it in the air. I was … watching him with tears in my eyes, thinking, 'Yes. Something is different. Something is happening.' We're very excited."
"Washington's never had a bigger rock star at the helm," her husband Marc Anthony agreed.
At the event, Rosario Dawson – whose Voto Latino organization worked to register young Latino voters – said her pinch-me moment was meeting the Obama family Sunday afternoon at the We Are One concert event at the Lincoln Memorial.
"It was really incredible. They're really poised and incredible and just magnificent people," the actress told PEOPLE at the Latino Inaugural Gala. "I'm sort of, like, freaking out right now."
Throughout the evening, guests milled about the vast marble ballroom in Washington D.C.'s Union station, noshing on quesadillas and egg-salad sandwiches on mini-croisssants as a mariachi band played in the background.
Other celebrities in attendance included George Lopez, David Archuleta and CNN's Soledad O'Brien.
Shakira, the last celebrity to walk the red carpet, arrived sheathed in a green Oscar de la Renta gown in time to perform close to midnight.
The pop singer was also pumped up about meeting the President-elect earlier in the day at the Lincoln Monument. "He said that he had my music (on his) iPod," she told PEOPLE. "I hope he was not being just nice."