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Happy birthday to Ian MacKaye on his 50th birthday. The American singer, songwriter, musician, label owner and producer has been influential and controversial in his career, even coining the term ‘straight edge’.

Ian MacKaye infamously formed the hardcore punk band Minor Threat, as well as The Teen Idles. He was also frontman of post-hardcore bands FugaziEmbrace and The Evens.

Like many teenagers, Insight heard one of the most inspirational music stories in punk history when she heard of Ian MacKaye. Two young men travelled to see one of the first hardcore punk bands, Black Flag when one of the guys takes the mic and joins the band onstage. Henry Rollins was then made lead singer of Black Flag, not to be outdone his friend Ian MacKaye formed Minor Threat back home.

Ian MacKaye is also known as a producer, working with the likes of John Frusciante and Bikini Kill. He’s also the co-founder and owner of the independent label Dischord Records.

We bow down to you sir and thank you for your contribution to music. Here’s one of the many tracks from one of his many bands:

Fugazi – ‘Waiting Room’