The group was originally a trio comprising Judy Craig, Patricia Bennett and Barbara Lee. They formed at James Monroe High School in The Bronx in 1960. At the suggestion of songwriter Ronnie Mack, Sylvia Peterson was added to the group in 1962. Peterson had previously sung with Little Jimmy & The Tops in 1959 when she was fourteen years old. This group had a local hit with "Puppy Love."
Sylvia later sang the leads for the Chiffons' "Why Am I So Shy," "Strange, Strange Feeling" "The Real Thing" and other recordings.
The group hit number one in the US with their first single "He's So Fine," written by Ronnie Mack. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
George Harrison's 1970 song "My Sweet Lord" was musically similar, prompting a copyright infringement claim. The Chiffons went on to record "My Sweet Lord" in 1975. A judge later found that Harrison had unintentionally plagiarized the earlier song.
Their first hit was followed by other notable tunes such as Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "One Fine Day," "Sweet Talkin' Guy" and "I Have A Boyfriend."
Craig left the Chiffons in 1970 and they continued as a trio. In 1992, Lee died from a heart attack the day before her 45th birthday, and Craig returned to the group. Sylvia Peterson retired shortly thereafter and was replaced by Connie Harvey.