"The musician played the fiddle but he died."
Translation:Sheinn an ceoltóir an fhidil ach fuair sé bás.
I've seen both used by both younger and older speakers. I'd say fuair sé a bhás would be a bit more emphatic/dramatic than fuair sé bás. Like, I'd have seen fuair sé a bhás in stories or situations with a bit of drama or ceremony to them and fuair sé bás more when people were just stating/reporting facts without any drama.