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Kat Graham

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Kat Graham
Kat Graham by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Graham in 2015
Born Katerina Alexandre Hartford Graham
(1989-09-05) September 5, 1989 (age 26)
Geneva, Switzerland
Other names Katerina Graham
Occupation Actress, singer, dancer, model
Years active 1998–present
Partner(s) Cottrell Guidry (2008–14)[1]
Musical career
Genres R&B, pop, hip hop, soul, dance
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2002–present

Katerina Alexandre Hartford "Kat" Graham[2][3] (born September 5, 1989) is a Swiss-born American actress, model, singer and dancer. She is known for her role of Bonnie Bennett on The CW supernatural drama The Vampire Diaries.[4][5][6]

Early life[edit]

Graham was born in Geneva, Switzerland and raised in Los Angeles, California. Her father, Joseph, is of Americo-Liberian descent, and her mother, Natasha, is Jewish (from a family from Russia and Poland).[7] Graham's father was a music executive and the godfather of two of Quincy Jones' children. Her paternal grandfather was a UN Ambassador, serving for 40 years in the Netherlands, Sweden, Romania and Kenya.[8] Her parents divorced when she was five.[9] She has a half-brother, Yakov, born in Tel Aviv, Israel.[8] Graham was raised in her mother's Jewish religion[10] and attended Hebrew school.[11]


Commercials and dancing[edit]

Graham began her career in the entertainment industry at age six.[2] Over the next eight years, she appeared in various commercials, including those for Barbie, K-Mart, Pop-Tarts and Edison. At the age of 15, Graham caught the eye of choreographer Fatima Robinson, and was asked to perform at the BET Awards as a background dancer for Bow Wow. Graham followed her BET Awards appearance with work as a background dancer for Missy Elliott, Pharrell, Jamie Foxx, and choreographers Hi-Hat and Michael Rooney.[12] At age 17, Graham participated in a national marketing campaign to advertise Coca-Cola's soft drink Fanta. Graham appeared in the marketing campaign as a member of the "Fantanas", known as Capri, also known as Strawberry.[13][14] Graham has appeared in various music videos, including Akon's "Lonely", Christina Millian's "Dip It Low", Justin Bieber and Usher's "Somebody to Love (Remix)", 112's "What If", John Legend's "Used to Love U", B2K's "Why I Love You", Musiq Soulchild's "B.U.D.D.Y.", and Nelly's "Just A Dream" and Diddy – Dirty Money with Usher's "Looking for Love".[15][16]

Television and film[edit]

In 2002, Graham made her television debut on the Disney Channel teen sitcom Lizzie McGuire. Graham went on to appear on various television shows, including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The O.C., Malcolm in the Middle, Joan of Arcadia, Grounded For Life and Greek. In 2008, she appeared in three episodes of the Disney Channel sitcom Hannah Montana playing the role of a girlfriend to the character Jackson Stewart. Graham has also had notable supporting roles in films such as 17 Again and The Roommate.[17][18] In December 2008, Graham began filming sci-fi dance film Boogie Town in Los Angeles, California. Filming on the film was put on hold that same month due to payroll issues with background performers. In April 2009, principal photography was stopped due to schedule conflicts with some of her cast mates and other projects. The film is set in a futuristic New York City in 2015 where dance battles are permanently banned. Graham plays the role of Ingrid. The film was set to be released in theaters worldwide October 2011, however it was set to be originally released in June 2009.

In March 2009, Graham was cast in The CW supernatural drama The Vampire Diaries based on the book series of the same name. Graham portrays the role of Bonnie Bennett a teenage witch and is considered her breakout role. The series premiered on September 10, 2009 to 4.91 million viewers and received praise for the series progression from critics. In May 2012, the series was renewed for the shows fourth season. In 2011, Graham won "Scene Stealer Female" at the Teen Choice Awards for her role on the show.[citation needed] In August 2010, The Hollywood Reporter announced Graham was cast in the Universal Pictures Dance Drama film Honey 2. The film is a sequel to the 2003 film Honey. The film follows a troubled teenager and aspiring dancer whom joins a dance crew. The film was released theatrically in selected countries for a limited release and went on to make over $8 million worldwide. In June 2011 the film was released Straight-to-DVD in North America to negative reviews from critics though Graham's performance and dancing was praised. That same year Graham starred in another Dance film this time a Kung Fu Dance Action film called Dance Fu in which Graham appeared as the female lead.[19] On January 12, 2016, she was cast as Jada Pinkett Smith in the upcoming Tupac biopic All Eyez On Me.[20]


In 2002, she wrote a song entitled "Derailed", which was featured in the Jean-Claude Van Damme film of the same title.[21] In 2006 Graham pursued a career as a musical artist. Graham found her break in 2007 when she was featured on "The Donque Song" and "I Got It From My Mama" on singer/rapper's third studio album Songs About Girls.[22] The move saw Graham embark on a world tour with The Black Eyed Peas as a supporting act for the Black Blue & You Tour. In April 2010, the song "My Boyfriends Back" released on YouTube and got over 1 million views In October 2010 Graham released her debut single "Sassy". A music video for the song premiered that same month, but the track performed poorly and it failed to chart.[23][24] She then went on to release covers of artists such as Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul which garnered Graham the attention of Paula who praised her cover.[25][26] Graham contributed a cover of the Garbage song "Only Happy When It Rains" to The Vampire Diaries soundtrack. The song premiered in December 2010 in an episode of the series titled "The Sacrifice".[27] In March 2011, Graham released another single titled "I Want It All". The music video premiered in May 2011.

In February 2012, Graham signed a recording contract with A&M Octone Records which was marked as her first major label signing. In March 2012, Graham released "Put Your Graffiti On Me". The song itself received positive reviews from critics. That same month, the official music video premiered and as of October 19, 2012 has reached 4,843,458 views on YouTube. The song peaked at #5 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.[28] On May 29, Graham performed the track on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. This was marked as her first televised musical performance ever. On that same day Graham released her first EP Against The Wall which debuted at #54 on the iTunes Music Album Chart.[29] Graham is currently[when?] in the process of recording her debut album. The second single taken from her debut EP is the track "Wanna Say". The music video was directed by Benny Boom and produced by London Alley.[30] She also appeared on the song "Dog Day Afternoon" from the Ras Kass & Doc Hollywood free collaborative digital album Spit No Evil. On June 25, 2013, Graham gave the opportunity to five fans to release the name of her new single on Twitter, and released the single premiere of "Power" at the next day. "Power" is said to be the lead single from her debut album, which currently does not have a release date.[31] As stated on, Graham also released a new single titled "1991" on March 10, 2015.[32]


Graham cites Tupac Shakur,[33] Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Rihanna, and Nelly Furtado, as music influences.[citation needed] In addition, her other music inspirations include Destiny's Child and The Beatles.[34][35] Graham also cites the Spice Girls as influences on her work and aesthetic.[3][35] She describes her sound as "vintage 90's with a modern twist."[36]

Personal life[edit]

Graham speaks English, Spanish, and French, as well as some Hebrew and Portuguese.[11]

Graham started dating Cottrell Guidry in 2008 and got engaged with him on October 28, 2012.[37] They split and called off their engagement on December 12, 2014.[1]


Film roles
Year Title Role Notes
1998 The Parent Trap Jackie
2004 Johnson Family Vacation Dancer
2009 17 Again Jamie
2011 Dance Fu Chaka Lovebell Straight-to-DVD
2011 The Roommate Kim Johnson
2011 Honey 2 Maria Ramirez Straight-to-DVD
2012 Boogie Town Ingrid
2014 Addicted Diamond
2016 Muse Muse Short film[38]
2016 All Eyez on Me Jada Pinkett Pre-production
Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Lizzie McGuire Posse Member #2 Episode: "You're a Good Man, Lizzie McGuire"
2003 Strong Medicine Ashley Collins Episode: "Degeneration"
2003 Malcolm in the Middle Actress Episode: "Watching the Baby"
2004 Joan of Arcadia Angela Episode: "No Bad Guy"
2004 Like Family Girl Episode: "Romancing the Home"
2004 Grounded for Life Laura Episode: "Psycho Therapy"
2006 The O.C. Kim Episode: "The Undertow"
2006 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Tisha Episode: "Poppin' Tags"
2007 Greek Dancer Episode: "The Rusty Nail"
2007 Hell on Earth Felicia Television movie
2008 Hannah Montana Allison 3 episodes (plus one never-aired episode: "No Sugar, Sugar")
2008 Our First Christmas Bernie Television movie
2009–present The Vampire Diaries Bonnie Bennett Main role; 3rd official main role from Season 7 onward
2012 Ridiculousness Herself Episode #2.12
2012 Oh Sit! Herself Episode #1.10
2013 The Show with Vinny Herself Episode #1.7
2014 Whose Line Is It Anyway? Herself Episode #10.1
2015 Stalker Christine Harper Episode: "Love Kills"


Studio albums[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions
US Heat
Roxbury Drive[39]

Extended plays[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions
US Heat
Against the Wall 4


As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US US Dance
"I Want It All" 2010 Non-album singles
"Cold Hearted Snake"
"Put Your Graffiti on Me" 2012 5 Against the Wall
"Wanna Say" 25
"Power" 2013 Non-album single
"1991" 2015 Roxbury Drive
(featuring Babyface)

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"I Got It from My Mama"
( featuring uncredited vocals by Kat Graham)
2007 31 38 Songs About Girls
"One More Chance"
( featuring uncredited vocals by Kat Graham)
"The Donque Song"
( featuring Snoop Dogg and uncredited vocals by Kat Graham)
"Dog Day Afternoon"
(Ras Kass with Doc Hollywood featuring Kat Graham and Dirt Nasty)
2012 Spit No Evil

Music videos[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Director(s)
"Boom Kat"[40] 2009 Adam Forstadt
"My Boyfriend's Back"[41] Kevin Boston
"I Want It All"[42] 2010 Lance Drake
"Sassy"[43] Adam Forstadt and Paul Hogan
"Cold Hearted Snake"[44] Kevin Boston
"Put Your Graffiti on Me"[45] 2012 Benny Boom
"Wanna Say"[46] 2013
"Power" (Lyric Video)[47] Kat Graham
"Power"[48] Byron Atienza
"1991"[49] 2015 Dano Cerny
"1991" (Cities at Night Remix Version)[50] Laurence Shanet and Morgan Miller
"Secrets"[51] Darren Genet

As featured artist[edit]

Participation in music videos as actress, dancer, singer, etc.
Title Year Other artist(s) Director(s)
"Slacker" 2002 Tech N9ne Ben Mor
"Why I Love You" B2K Erik White
"Wanna B Where U R (ThisIzzaLuvSong)" 2003 Floetry featuring Mos Def Nzingha Stewart
"No L.O.V.E." Jhené Aiko None
"Salt Shaker" Ying Yang Twins featuring Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz Nzingha Stewart
"The Way I Am" Knoc-Turn'al featuring Snoop Dogg Gil Green[52]
"Used to Love U" 2004 John Legend Ben Mor
"Lonely" 2005 Akon Gil Green
"What If" 112 Fat Cats
"What You Want (When U Want It)" 2006 The Frontline Rock Jacobs
"B.U.D.D.Y." 2007 Musiq Soulchild Sanaa Hamri
"One More Chance" 2008 Scott Speer
"Siempre Ausente" AKWID Sam Ketay and Zosimo Maximo
"Somebody to Love (Remix)"[53] 2010 Justin Bieber featuring Usher Dave Meyers
"Just a Dream"[54] Nelly Sanji
"Looking for Love" 2011 Diddy & Dirty Money featuring Usher Colin Tilley
"Broken Down" Kevin Hammond Tim Nackashi
"Black and Jewish (Black and Yellow Parody)"[55] Kali Hawk and Kat Graham James Davis and Rachel Goldenberg
"Really Don't Care"[56] 2014 Demi Lovato featuring Cher Lloyd Ryan Pallotta


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2010 Teen Choice Awards Scene Stealer Female The Vampire Diaries Nominated
2011 Teen Choice Awards The Vampire Diaries Won
Youth Rock Awards Rockin' Actress (TV) The Vampire Diaries Nominated
2012 Teen Choice Awards Actress Fantasy/Sci-Fi The Vampire Diaries Nominated
2013 Teen Choice Awards The Vampire Diaries Nominated
2014 Teen Choice Awards The Vampire Diaries Nominated
Black Women in Film Association Creative Award[57] Contributions in the industry Won
2015 MTV Fandom Awards MTV Ship of The Year (with Ian Somerhalder) The Vampire Diaries Nominated
2015 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Chemistry (with Ian Somerhalder) The Vampire Diaries Nominated
2015 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Scene Stealer The Vampire Diaries Nominated


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  6. ^ French, Dan (2009-03-26). "US TV – News – 'Lost' star for 'Vampire Diaries' role?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
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  18. ^ Erica Strauss (January 13, 2011). "The Vampire Diaries – Watch TVD's Kat Graham in The Roommate". Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  19. ^ Wieselman, Jarett (July 7, 2010). "Kat Graham: ‘Sassy’ is what I’m all about". New York Post. Retrieved January 12, 2015. 
  20. ^ McNary, Dave (January 12, 2016). "Kat Graham Joins Tupac Movie ‘All Eyez on Me’ - Variety". Variety. Retrieved January 12, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Katerina Graham". Filmbug. September 18, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
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  25. ^ "'Vampire Diaries' Kat Graham Debuts "Cold Hearted" Video". Billboard. September 14, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  26. ^ "'Vampire Diaries' Star Katerina Graham Recalls Best Moment of Her 'Humble Career'.". 2010-11-08. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
  27. ^ "The Vampire Diaries – Kat Graham's "Only Happy When It Rains" Cover from The Vampire Diaries Season 2, Episode 10: "The Sacrifice" – Video". December 3, 2010. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Put Your Graffiti on Me – Kat Graham". Billboard. June 28, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  29. ^ Davies, Rebecca (February 2, 2012). "'Vampire Diaries' Kat Graham announces single after record deal". Digital Spy. Retrieved February 2, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Kat Graham confirms second single 'Wanna Say'". Ultimate Music. 2012-12-09. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  31. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (June 26, 2013). "Kat Graham, 'Power': Exclusive Single Premiere". Billboard. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  32. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (March 10, 2015). "Kat Graham '1991' Song Premiere: Stream the Throwback Track". Billboard. Retrieved August 23, 2015. 
  33. ^ Nicole Pajer. "Kat Graham Dishes on Balancing Vampire Diaries With Her Music Career — Exclusive!". Wetpaint. 
  34. ^ "Cast of The Vampire Diaries' Playlists by Various Artists – Download Cast of The Vampire Diaries' Playlists on iTunes". 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  35. ^ a b "Interview: Kat Graham — "I want to be a people's artist" @ARTISTdirect". Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  36. ^ "Kat Graham Knocks Us Out with Her Boxer Body". Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  37. ^ "Katerina Graham Height Weight Body Statistics – Healthy Celeb". Healthy Celeb. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
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  39. ^
  40. ^ "Katerina Graham – Boom Kat". Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
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  46. ^ "Kat Graham – Wanna Say". YouTube. January 19, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2013. 
  47. ^ "Kat Graham "Power" (Official Lyric Video)". YouTube. July 1, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  48. ^ "‘Vampire Diaries’ Star Kat Graham Premieres New Video for ‘Power’". Yahoo! Music. October 11, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  49. ^ "1991 - Kat Graham". Vevo. May 14, 2015. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  50. ^ "1991 (Cities At Night Remix) - Kat Graham". Vevo. June 29, 2015. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  51. ^ "Secrets - Kat Graham". Vevo. September 21, 2015. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  52. ^ "Sunset Edit Music Videos" (PDF). Sunset Edit. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  53. ^ Bundy, Brill. "'Somebody to Love': Justin Bieber, Usher kick it with 'Vampire Diaires' Katerina Graham". Zap2it. Retrieved June 18, 2010. 
  54. ^ "Nelly – Just A Dream". September 21, 2010. 
  55. ^ "Black and Jewish (Black and Yellow Parody)". E! Online. June 26, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  56. ^ Johnson, Zach (June 26, 2014). "Demi Lovato's 'Really Don't Care' Music Video Features a Surprise Cameo From Wilmer Valderrama!". E! Online. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  57. ^ "Black Women in Film Honors". Kat Graham. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 

External links[edit]