Rap star P Diddy has said he was overwhelmed by casting his vote for Barack Obama ahead of the senator's historic election victory.

The music mogul, real name Sean Combs, explained he felt connected to the entirety of the civil rights movement when voting at a midtown Manhattan school.

"I felt like my vote was the vote that put him into office," he told the Associated Press news agency.

"It was down to one vote, and that was going to be my vote. And that may not be true, but that's how much power it felt like I had."

Senator Obama, 47, became the 44th US president-elect on Tuesday night and will become the first-ever African-American to reside in the Oval Office when he is inaugurated in January.

P Diddy said that voting in the momentous election - which saw record turnout at the ballots - provoked memories of centuries of struggle against segregation and inequality.

"I'm not trying to be dramatic, but I just felt like, Martin Luther King, and I felt the whole civil rights movement, I felt all that energy, and I felt my kids," he explained.

"It was all there at one time. It was a joyous moment."

Fellow hip-hop great Jay-Z, who may appear at President Obama's inauguration, implored a Philadelphia crowd to vote for the Illinois senator on Tuesday.

"I need y'all to be really, really quiet for this," he said.

"I need you to really understand what I'm telling you. Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. Obama's running so we all can fly," the Roc-A-Fella mogul was quoted by the Philadelphia Enquirer newspaper as saying.

05/11/2008 14:49:51