Prince once advised Kat Graham that she should be her "favourite artist no matter what".

Before she got her big break in the TV series The Vampire Diaries, Graham worked in the music industry as a back-up dancer for the likes of Pharrell Williams and Missy Elliott and a backing vocalist for Black Eyed Peas star

During an interview with People, Graham was asked what she learned from working with the musicians, and she offered up a nugget of advice she received from the late Purple Rain hitmaker.

" was, I think, the first person that gave me a shot with those records," she shared. "And (one) big mentor was Prince. I asked him once, 'Who's your favourite artist of all time?' He said, 'Well, me.' I said, 'Yeah, because you're Prince.' He said, 'No - you always should be your favourite artist no matter what. You've got to be your biggest fan.' The power comes from in (you)."

She transitioned into TV in the late 2000s and had her breakthrough when she was cast as Bonnie Bennett in the teen vampire show, which ran from 2009 to 2017.

And the show came in good time as Graham was struggling financially.

"I think when I booked Vampire Diaries, I was sleeping on my mom's floor and I had 86 cents to my name," the 31-year-old confessed. "I had just gotten off tour with the Black Eyed Peas and I was back home living with my mom in her apartment when Vampire Diaries pretty much exploded. I was on an inflatable mattress for the first six months of filming because I just didn't trust (it would last)."