DENVER – Spielberg! Affleck! J.Lo! They were among the Hollywood celebrities attending events in Denver as the Democratic National Convention nominated Barack Obama as the party's presidential candidate.
Steven Spielberg, who directed a short film on veterans that aired Wednesday at the convention, was spotted entering the Pepsi Center.
Jennifer Lopez spoke at a reception honoring children's rights activist Marian Wright Edelman. Ben Affleck read excerpts from a Howard Zinn book and made an appearance at the city's food bank for America's Second Harvest.
Affleck was joined by his wife, Jennifer Garner, at the book reading at the Starz Green Room across the street from the Pepsi Center. Also participating: Rosario Dawson, Kerry Washington, Taye Diggs, Hill Harper and Josh Brolin.
Other celebrity sightings around Denver:
— The Black Eyed Peas performed a concert at the Fillmore Auditorium for the Creative Coalition. Fergie praised Hillary Rodham Clinton's Tuesday-night speech, saying Clinton "really spoke to me as a woman. And I think she spoke to a lot of people in that way."
— Politicians including former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner attended a party sponsored by Bono's ONE anti-poverty campaign and the Recording Industry Association of America featuring a Kanye West performance.
West's regret on the day Barack Obama was nominated for president: That his mother, Donda, hadn't lived to experience it.
"It's an incredible time to be around. I wish my momma could have seen this day," the 31-year-old rapper told a crowd gathered for his performance early Thursday morning.
Also in attendance at the Kanye show: Forest Whitaker, Kal Penn, Jamie Foxx and director Davis Guggenheim.
— Muhammad Ali sat in the convention audience.
— Fran Drescher, Ashley Judd and Joy Bryant joined Lopez at the reception honoring Edelman.
— Anne Hathaway and others gathered at a morning reception honoring Annette Bening for her work narrating the documentary "14 Women," about women in the U.S. Senate.
— Big Boi of Outkast was at the airport on his way out of town after hosting a Radio One show where he interviewed John Legend, among others.
An anti-war concert headlined by the reunited Rage Against the Machine drew thousands of fans to the Denver Coliseum on Wednesday morning, many with tattoos, body piercings or "Iraq Veterans Against the War" T-shirts.
Sean Penn showed up at the city's public library Tuesday as an observer at an Oxfam America round-table panel about Gulf Coast recovery efforts.
Other celebrities spotted around the city Tuesday:
— Spike Lee, on the convention floor, wore a T-shirt that featured caricatures of Obama dunking on John McCain. Also on the floor, and later at the Do Something party at the Jet Hotel and Lounge: "The Daily Show" correspondent John Oliver.
— Chevy Chase and his wife also stopped by the Jet party, saying they were attending Obama's Thursday speech. Chase's reaction to last weekend's announcement of Sen. Joe Biden as Obama's running mate: "I wet my pants."
— Chris Daughtry performed with his band at a club called the Church. Daughtry said he'd spoken with Jon Bon Jovi a few days earlier and the rocker hadn't mentioned a rumored Thursday pre-Obama speech gig (Bruce Springsteen is rumored to play afterward).
— At the same club, Everclear frontman Art Alexakis debuted a song called "Jesus Was a Democrat." "This song is a pointed attack at people who call themselves Christians but act anything far from it," he said.
— Moby played an acoustic set at the Jet, performing "Ring of Fire" and, upon request, "Free Bird." He told the crowd it was his policy to play the Lynyrd Skynyrd song if anybody shouted it out. Afterward, he exchanged a handshake and posed for photos with rapper Bun B.
— Charles Barkley roamed the CNN Grill, chatting casually with others in the restaurant. "This is going to be historic," he said.
— Among those spotted heading into the Pepsi Center through the VIP entrance: Angela Bassett and Richard Dreyfuss.
At a Creative Coalition banner, Danny Strong, an actor and screenwriter who is keeping a video diary of the DNC for the Associated Press, spoke with Hathaway, who said she was "kind of afraid of Obama the first time I saw him."
"I thought, I've been burned by guys like you before. I've been burned by politicians before that I wanted to believe in and just didn't live up to it. And I was afraid to trust him and I was afraid to have hope when I first kind of became aware of him. It was around the time that he gave his speech on race that I just said 'I can't deny how I feel about you, Barack Obama. I want you to be the president. I want you in the White House.'
Legend performed his new song, "If You're Out There," from the floor of the Democratic National Convention on Monday.
Among other celebrities spotted on the first day of the convention:
— Danny Glover, wearing a jacket over a Martin Luther King Jr. shirt, who talked about unions at a Creative Coalition event.
— Cyndi Lauper was interviewed on the convention floor. Susan Sarandon, Alan Cumming, Tim Daly, Rachael Leigh Cook and Josh Lucas were also spotted.
— Robert Randolph & The Family Band and The Fray performed for convention-goers.
— Daughtry was in the audience at a Rock the Vote concert at the city's opera house, which featured Jakob Dylan, NERD and Fall Out Boy.
At Sunday night's kickoff concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver, Sheryl Crow dedicated her song "Strong Enough" to Barack Obama and then added a twist to the lyrics for the occasion.
"Are you strong enough to be my man, or my president?" Crow sang.
Dave Matthews and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles also performed.
Crow told the Associated Press beforehand that she hadn't been swayed from speaking out for Obama by the candidate's "celebrity."
"That tag that Sen. Obama's been given is a campaign ploy, obviously, by the Republican party," Crow said. "I don't see him hanging out. I have yet to see him at any celebrity events."