Ian MacKaye (pronounced Mc-Eye) (b. April 16, 1962) is an American musician, probably best known as the founder of straight edge movement, the founder and owner of Dischord Records, a Washington, D.C.-based punk rock label, and as the singer for two important punk rock groups: Minor Threat and Fugazi.
MacKaye grew up in Washington, D.C. and listened to mainstream hard rock before discovering punk music in 1976 when he saw The Cramps perform at Georgetown University. He was particularly influenced by the D.C. and Californian punk scene. MacKaye looked up to punk icons like Bad Brains and Black Flag and was childhood friends with Henry Garfield (who later changed his name to Henry Rollins).
MacKaye played bass guitar in The Teen Idles (1979), was the lead singer for Minor Threat (1980) and Embrace (1985), and presently plays guitar and sings with Fugazi (1987) and The Evens . MacKaye has also worked with a few smaller bands on the side over the years, including Egg Hunt, Skewbald/Grand Union, and Pailhead, a collaboration between MacKaye and Al Jourgensen of the industrial band Ministry. He currently sings and plays baritone guitar in the band The Evens with the drummer and vocalist Amy Farina of the Warmers. The Evens released their self-titled album in early 2005, breaking a four-year silence by MacKaye. MacKaye, along with guitarist Sonic Boom (formerly of Spacemen 3), co-wrote the music to the 2003 documentary The Weather Underground.
He is credited with starting the straight edge philosophy and is one of the pioneers of the DIY punk ethic.