Born "Ağan Esen" on 24 September 1954 in Istanbul, her first music lessons were from her mother, Piraye Ağan (who had graduated from a local music conservatory). She went on to work with Cavit Deringöl, Irfan Özbakır, and Abdullah Nail Bayşu (who gave her the name Esengül). At the age of fifteen she participated in a music contest, and won first place. After her song “Aşkımı Süpürmüşle”r charted into the top forty-five she started working in casinos, and was a headline act in all the major casinos in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir.
Connections were established with the rowdy underworld tracked by the police, and in those days her name was connected with several armed incidents. In March 1979, during one of her events at a casino the owner and a waitress were killed.
Twenty days after this incident, on 18th April 1979, Esengül died in a car accident near Ataköy along with a businessman. It was asked whether it might have been murder, but the cause was ruled to be excessive speed and alcohol.